Saturday, December 28, 2013

Resolution, 2014

We are in bed. Boyfriend is not talking, or reading, or reaching out for a remote.
“Babe”, I say. “Want to get the light?”
“Eventually” he replies. “Right now I just want to lie here and stare into space”.

I realize I have never recognized in me the need to stare into space. It’s the New Year’s resolution I've been looking for.

Moon designer

I was walking home from the bus and saw a moon so beautiful it made me gasp (photo doesn't do it justice). Desperate to share it I turned to a guy walking in the opposite direction and pointed. We stood there staring. 

Tonight I am grateful to the Moon Designer and for the company, camaraderie and support I often find in perfect strangers.

In general...

"Millennials feel entitled". "Older folks struggle to remain relevant". Yawn.
Throwing people into (shortsighted) generalizations is an insidious form of discrimination and impairs us from reveling in the unique wealth each person can bring.


Yum. Soup. If you make it at home and lovingly chop, sauté and simmer, the insides of those who eat it are warmed and nourished beyond what can be attributed to the sum of ingredients.


The fact someone would go through the trouble of building a bench just so strangers can sit and look at a beautiful view is one of the reasons why I think humans are so adorable.

Roller Coaster

The most important thing I have learned from PR is to know my center. In this profession you are a star one day and suck the next - the only way to stay off that roller coaster is to have a clear sense of self.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

50 dollars

Two men are sitting across from me on the bus. They are speaking Spanish.

First man: if I tell you what happened yesterday, you won't believe me.
Second man: what?
First man: we were at the site. At noon the boss said it was lunch time. We sat down to a huge plate of hot food and that red wine that they serve in glasses.
Second man stares.
First man: When we were done we all got another plate. I'm still full.
Second man stares.
First man: Then, he gave us each an envelope and said "this is so you can go get coffee, on such a cold day". In it was $50.
Second man's jaw drops.
First man: $50. For coffee.

They look at each other, then burst out laughing.

This holiday, tip generously.

Riding the rocket

I'm in full winter gear and riding the rocket (Toronto speak for "on the subway".) a man sitting across from me is shuffling cards. Not like a poker player - like a magician. He drops them, red and black and white spilling across the gray car floor; then struggles to collect each one. I realize his fingers are numb. This is how I learn that sleights of hand are harder to conjure in freezing temperatures.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thank you

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my boyfriend who understands when I'm mad at him over fights we've only had in my head. I'm thankful for my team's patience with me. Thankful for Carla for setting up permanent residence in my heart and for Kathia who's one of my favorite people, and not just because she made me an aunt. Thankful for Tomas who adopted me even though I already had parents and thankful for my parents who made me strong, flawed and fortunate. Thankful for my friends who save me every day. For yoga that reminds me there is something divine within me. For my siblings for being more like me and less like me than anyone anywhere. Thankful for whoever created avocado, persimmons and the Platypus. And thankful for the Universe for unfolding as it should despite the fractures in my faith.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


My Dad and I are bantering over dinner.
Dad: Just don't lose sight of the fact that you are my creation.
Me: Well, mom did play a role in the matter.
Dad: (Grins.) Please. It was all me. She was just the means of transport.
While I see how this might antagonize any mother, I find it adorable that someone loves me fiercely enough to want the credit for every bit of me.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Another me

There are 40 billion planets like Earth out there, and those are only the ones we know about in a universe that is infinite. With those odds, it's possible there is another me out there, drinking coffee her boyfriend brewed, catching up on email and wondering if I exist.

Unexpected twist

Over breakfast my Dad tells me that at 20 he had his life mapped out, including a nice girl he'd marry. Except a woman unlike anyone he'd ever known was about to appear on the scene. She was larger than life and would forever change the course of his destiny. And she would give him me.

Hurray for indomitable moms and unexpected twists in the futile plans we make.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Less to do

You can plan all day. Plans seldom pan out. No matter how much you work at being in control, you have none. You can do a lot to protect yourself, and you'll still get hurt. You will disappoint the people you love. You can't save anyone, help anyone or change anyone. 

I don't know about you, but this has pretty much cleared my calendar.

I need a tutu

Things I learned this weekend: A kiss really does make it better. Dragons eat tacos. 
There is a superhero in every parent. And I need a tutu.

Zen Master

Boyfriend and I are strolling through The Mission.
Me: who walks around driving staples into posts?
Boyfriend: (Staring at me incredulously) people post signs. Signs are removed. Staples remain.
Me: Oh. (Pause). I wonder how many other things that are obvious to the rest of the world are not obvious to me.
Boyfriend: Many. But a lot of things that are obvious to you aren't to the rest of the world.

Boyfriend. Bacon gobbling, Manhattan quaffing, black boot donning Zen Master.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Closet yogi

My boyfriend and I are sitting on the sofa. He's contemplating dinner. I'm contemplating life.
Him: Are you hungry? What would you like?
Me: Sometimes I feel like nothing is in its place.
Him: Have you considered that maybe everything is in its place?
Me: ---.
Him: I'll scramble some eggs.

I suspect boyfriend is closet yogi.


More than "keeping it all under control", more than "being right", even more than finding the perfect word, what I want is to learn how to handle things with grace. It has the best aftertaste.


I had a 4 year old guest over on Sunday. His mom says to him "say goodbye and thank Dushka for playing with you!" The kid looks right at me and solemnly declares: "Thanks Dushka. You are the best pillow fort builder in all the world."

And that, folks, might be one of my favorite compliments ever.

Fairy tale

The past two days involved poetry, a pretty dress, champagne, dancing, a starry night, sweeping views of the ocean from the back of a horse and crusty bread still hot from the oven. Still, it wasn't until the hotel called to tell me I had left a shoe behind that I realized my weekend had been a fairy tale.


One fine morning at breakfast burrito bar:
Me: Hi! Breakfast veggie burrito please. No tomato - I'm allergic.
Him: WHAT? Tomato is so good for you!
Me: Yes, unless it's toxic to your system.
Him: Well, we can put a little in, just for flavor.
Me: No - but thank you!
Him: Oooooh. Ok. Well, how about sun dried tomato?

Me: Thank you! But, that won't work.
Him: But it's sooooo delicious! I just can't imagine what it would be like!
Me: It's hard. Sometimes very hard.
Him: A little pico de gallo on the side?
Me: that's chopped up tomato, so no.
Him: Wow. You know, I just don't get it.

No kidding.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I've got nothing

This couple was sitting across from me on the bus. I strained to eavesdrop. They whispered. They giggled. They pouted. They laughed. They nuzzled. They leaned into each other. They held hands.

It was a rough commute: a whole universe unfolding before me, and I couldn't hear a thing.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Look up

Our destiny often shows up in the form of serendipity. A chance encounter in the street. A glance in a cafe. I wonder how many things we are passing by that are supposed to be happening; what we are doing to the fabric of our fate by never looking up from our mobile devices.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Out on the sidewalk, he cradles her face in his hands, kisses her neck. He looks at her, pats her hair, waves goodbye, boards the bus, takes a seat across from mine. We drive off and he gazes out the window, watching her until we turn the corner.

He looks around, pulls off his wedding band and tosses it in his briefcase.

I should mind my own business. Remind me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Something unexpected

"Conservative", I decide.

Then she peels off her clothes. The Amazonian snake tattoo starts on her right foot, winding up her leg, her hip, her torso. It ends around her shoulder and chest, a piercing a glint in the snake's eye. I stare.

"I know" she says. "I wanted something unexpected".

At the risk of making this less interesting, I should mention I am in my gym's locker room. 

San Francisco, you will always surprise me.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Plan for the day

I'm on a hot, crowded bus.
Two grungy men sit in front of me. One has a small suitcase.

"Here is what we'll do" he says. "We will get off the bus. We will find a watering hole. We will get a big, cold beer. And we will color".
He opens a smidgen of the suitcase, revealing dozens of coloring books.
"You color inside the lines" he instructs. "I will color outside, and by end of the day we will see how we are doing."
He pulls out two packages of crayons from his jacket pocket. He hands one over.
"This is yours. It's new. All I did was throw out the pink one. I don't believe in pink."

This is why I don't drive into work.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Caulk gun

I want a caulk gun
To fill the cracks in my character
Before I go holding someone else responsible
For any ancestral discomfort.

I also want a crescent wrench
But only because it sounds poetic.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Love story, maybe

Last night Andrew and I drove up to Twin Peaks to look at the sunset. In front of us, the following scene unfolds:

Guy – Hey. You’re in my time lapse.
Girl – So sorry! (starts getting up.)
Guy – Don’t worry about it. It’s a feature.
Girl laughs.
Guy – Alison?
Girl – (Freaked out) Yes. How did you know?
Guy – Are you Alison? (Removes his hat and glasses.) It’s Chuck!
Girl – What? Chuck!

I (excitedly) point out we are in the presence of a nascent romance: two people who knew each other long ago find each other at sunset 10 years later. 

Naturally, Instead of looking at the view, we watch them. We hope to witness them inching closer together, possibly kiss.

We get hungry and end up leaving before we find out how the story unfolds.

Over dinner we toast to love.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's not hope

I don't think that hope was what was left at the bottom of Pandora's box. Hope implies the expectation that things will turn out a desired way. I believe that what we find is instead a mix of trust + faith + surrender. A blind sense that it will all work out even if we don't yet know exactly how. I bet something got lost in translation.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Soul Mate

On the bus today I overheard two women talking really unfavorably about another. I was going to post a transcript of the exchange but decided it made me sad.

I can't imagine why we'd resort to tearing each other down when the greatest gift we have ever been given is each other. Girlfriends are soul mates.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

You can be different

On the bus -

Boy - (Pointing at ad with photo of a family) Mommy! I want to be like that!
Mom - We are, honey! We are like that!
Boy - But they are all smiling!
Mom - We smile too! We are happy!
Boy - But there is a dad. There is a dad in the photo.
Mom - You can be different from that and be just as happy. We can take a photo with uncle Charlie.

Moms tend to be right, kid.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I'm on a very crowded bus. I get to talking to the guy crammed next to me. His name is Xzisto and he's a vegan singer hip hop dancer contortionist who works in circus burlesque acts. His troupe is called Tourette's without Regrets. 

Just when I thought I couldn't love San Francisco any more.

Not ready

On bus:
Girl 1: If he says he's not ready to move in, he's not that into you.
Girl 2: what if he's just not ready to move in?
Me: There's a way to tell.
Girl 2: Tell!
Me: Is he there for you in other ways?
Girl 2: yes.
Me: I know you want him to want to move in. But are you ready to move in?
Girl 2: hmmm.
Me: Are you into him, yet think you should wait a bit?
Girl 2: yes.
Me: Then so is he.

And that is how I was hugged by a stranger on the bus.