Monday, October 26, 2009

Make me a word

Have you ever heard of the word schadenfreude? It’s defined as “the pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.” I’ve often felt that I needed more complex words to more accurately express my feelings.

Jeffrey Eugenides, in his brilliant book Middlesex, says it best:

Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness”, “joy” or “regret”. Maybe the best proof that language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster”. Or “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy”. I'd like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in the middle age”. I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar”. I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I need space not a room or a house but a swath of the milky way not a backyard a national park not elbow room dream room not a puddle an ocean not a line in the sand the split of land from sky I need my eyes to see as far as they can I don’t know how someone so small can need something so big but I do

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The key

I have an odds and ends drawer with rubber bands and matchboxes and birthday candles multicolored thumbtacks and an eraser white perfectly rectangular a black permanent marker and coins from other countries paper clips I found a key in there I plan to keep who knows when I’ll come across something I need to figure out how to open


Sunday, October 4, 2009

It doesn't matter

It doesn’t really matter all the things I remember how my father would carry me on his shoulders my mother’s box of rings the Eiffel tower the manta rays swimming in the light of the dock everything becomes a footnote something someone puts in parenthesis or leaves in the back of a closet (remember how I said I liked your tie?)