open letter

Dear Man Jogging Down I-10 Around 7PM Tonight During Heavy Traffic,

I saw you for the first time a couple of hours ago on my way home from work. I was driving my car on the freeway when something caught my eye. It was something that moved unlike a car. A bit of whimsy in the midst of smog-inducing, butt-numbing traffic. It was you, jogging down the shoulder of the freeway as if you had been loosed upon the tundra after a period of confinement.

You were in my sights for no more than a moment or two, yet I still took in the details of your being. You were wearing a white shirt, black shorts and exercise shoes of some flavor. Your clothes were snug, as if you wanted nothing to slow you down. You had good form and appeared to move quickly, though not as quickly as I was, even in traffic, sitting on my ass in my car, listening to music, looking at you. I wonder how many other drivers almost popped their necks, jerking their heads to look to the right. At you, jogging down the shoulder of the freeway as if you were on the first leg of a short run.

There exists the possibility that your car broke down and you’d forgotten your cellphone, so you were forced to let your feet do the jogging. But you weren’t in work attire (unless you work as a model for bike shorts). And you weren’t moving like someone who had the misfortune to break down on the freeway. Granted, I’ve never seen anyone jogging away from their abandoned car, but I would imagine there would be a resigned hunch in their shoulders, a “why me” sort of gait. But you, you were jogging down the shoulder of the freeway as if you were in the midst of an urban workout that requires adrenaline and a death wish. Or as if you were running from zombies–a cautionary tale for the rest of us. No, I know what it was.

You were jogging down the shoulder of the freeway the way I would jog to a wine and puppy party.

Whatever your destination and whatever your reason(s), I hope you made it where you were going. Thanks for making the drive home more…confusing.

open letter

Dear HL&P/Reliant/CenterPoint Energy,

As an account holder of yours since 1992 or thereabouts, I have generally been pleased with your provision of electricity to my dwelling. Sure, there was that week in September 2008 when we had no power, but that was Hurricane Ike’s fault, not yours. It was unseasonably cool that week, so the lack of air conditioning wasn’t such a huge deal. Plus, we ate dinner with our neighbors, sharing what few provisions we had over candlelight and wine. Magical.

I digress.

Since moving out of our 1920s house in the Heights and into our 1950s house in Spring Valley, I cannot say that I’ve been pleased with your services. In less than two years, we have lost power for multiple hours at least five, and perhaps as many as seven or eight, times. Even though we know not to open the refrigerator during an outage in hopes that the food will be salvaged, we always end up throwing away most of our cold food supply. I’d hate to shuffle off this mortal coil because of tainted lunch meat or bad salad dressing.

The problem is that this becomes an expensive proposition after the second or third round. We’re becoming a bit more bold now, keeping everything that isn’t dairy/meat/cheese/egg related. You can rebuy pickle relish and salsa only so many times before you just say fuck it. But two cartons of eggs, a gallon of milk, a quart of 1/2 n 1/2, frozen yogurt, multiple cheeses, lunch meat, hummus, tzatziki and two steaks is still a chunk of change. Continue reading “open letter”

open letter

Dear Gray Hair,

As you’re new to the neighborhood of my scalp, I thought it might be best to explain some of the ground rules of living atop my head. Before I begin, please note that this in no way relates to your color. In fact, my first five or six years were spent as a blonde. Then my hair began to darken into the brown-with-a-hint-of-red that I have maintained for over 30 years. In other words, this is not my first time to experience a change in the seasons on my pumpkin-sized head, so don’t go calling the ACLU.

Decades ago when my hair transitioned from blonde to brown, the basic structure of my hair did not change. At all. Yet since your slow arrival over the past year, I’ve found your texture – a wiry, defying gravity sort of general fuck you to any attempt at styling my hair – to be a bit…argumentative. So far there are only a handful of you living on my head (that I can see, anyway), but even in your small numbers you are creating chaos.

For instance, yesterday I had to kill off one of your number because the lone, silver hair came down from my scalp, landed square in the middle of the left lens of my glasses and then went straight out at a 90-degree angle. How? Why? I have no idea. But it was distracting as hell – I kept thinking I’d walked into a spider web. I tried brushing the hair back, pulling it off to the side, putting a dab of lotion on my finger so I could affix it to more well-behaved hair. Nothing worked. So I pulled that bitch out, in direct contradiction to my earlier promise to neither color nor physically remove these new arrivals.

In the interest of keeping the peace, let’s make an agreement. You can move in, in as many numbers as you wish. I will not forcibly cut, pluck or color any of you as long as you agree to quit making me look like the nutty professor. If you cannot agree to these terms, I can’t promise you any sort of protection. I’m not going to walk around with crazy lady hair that randomly pokes me in the eye. Not only is it literally irritating my eyes, it also causes me to have twitchy eye things going on in addition to the crazy hair stuff. Though it’s inevitable I’ll end up crazy and twitchy if I’m lucky enough to live that long, I don’t want to prematurely enter that phase.

I’ve got my eye on you (literally),