As I sat there, I thought back on my days as a student.  It was my junior year and I was flipping thru the philosophy course offerings there were for the spring semester.  I came across Philosophy of Language.  I signed up.

My professor was a thin, tall man who didn’t seem like an introspective philosopher but nonetheless patiently taught us the basics.  One day, he came in without saying a word and wrote vagueness on the board.  He then took out pennies and put them on a pile in the table.  He then started creating another pile of pennies from the first one and asked us to pinpoint at what point it became a pile of pennies.  Is it 9 or 10?  Is 12 pennies not a pile of pennies and 13 is?  Is there really a number at which a pile of pennies magically comes into existence?  Is it more than one penny?  More than 3?  And if so, why not more than two?  Ahhh, I love philosophy.

For more on vagueness, this is a great post.  

I was nervous to come back to the place where a few weeks ago, I had fallen apart.  Returned to my same vices, my same distractions.  I stayed at work until I knew I had to leave.  Gathering my things, I found a familiar face.  We went to a neighborhood watering hole and talked.  About the new, the old, the laughs, and the tears we all carry.

After finishing a thought I had about my relationships and how sometimes people speak different languages, I suddenly realized I had become the teacher.  When?  How?  At what point do we learn and can show the way?  Especially when you are fairly certain you don’t know the way.  My thoughts went back to my philosophy class and the pennies.  I couldn’t pinpoint where I became an authority on familial relations or relationships but somehow I had something to contribute.

So I returned to my apartment and took out some ground pork.  Because for some reason, the kitchen seemed like the safest place and although I had already eaten.  The sizzle of meatballs, the briny flavor of capers, and the melting of anchovies in olive oil doesn’t change if you are somewhere old or somewhere new.



I remember when we used to go out.  Where will we go?  And he rattled off a list of my favorite places.  Because I hate uncertainty and fear the unknown.  I didn’t notice.

I revisited one of those places with its familiar flavors with the one I knew.  Everything had stayed the same.  I still loved the crunchy calamari, sweet marinara sauce, and crispy crust of the pizza. 

Food is comfort.  It returns us to happy moments.  Having pizza, I realized alot had changed but there we were.  Different but the same. 

And as the days pass, new favorites are born.  And I bookmark them to share again.



My heart was pounding.  Since the day before, my heart had been pounding.  Something had changed and I was not sure what it was.  But we had agreed to meet and the clock said 10:28am on that Sunday morning.  I had been up since 530am after a restless sleep.  I was dressed, hair done, makeup done to meet him.  I was crawled up in a fetal position.  What would happen?  

Unable to sit any further, I went across the street.  This was what we did.  We would walk across the street, walk thru the produce department as if we were at an outdoor market somewhere commenting on what was in front of us and ahead of us.  As I walked thru, I thought of those moments so insignificant then but so poignant alone.  At last, 11am showed its face and the text message came thru. 

His car hadn’t changed.  Same familiar chair I had sat in countless times and those familiar blue eyes.  At the coffee shop, I climbed out first and walked ahead.  We sat down and the miles between us showed.  After some small talk, the heaviness commenced.  We sat there like two wounded animals, exhausted after the fight longing for the simplicity of days past.  But with the battle and the dark days still present, I was reluctant.  

I kept looking ahead, afraid of eye contact.  Eventually I looked over and I didn’t see an enemy.  I saw an old friend opening up and I put my hand on his arm and I remarked how his nails although never maintained never looked as bad as mine.  Without thought, I moved my chair over closer to him.  

But today as I sat in my chair, all the fear and anxiety came roaring back.  I heard the answer I wanted but why wasn’t I exploding in glee?  Hesitation, fear, and anxiety were all I felt.  Eventually, I was able to pull away and realize how natural it was so be hesitant.  It just showed how bad I wanted it to work and how scared I was to lose the love of my life again.  

I got home, put on my running shoes, and headed out into the night.  Step after step, I realized why I could never run and why I am here alone.  Because I never developed the patience to do it right.  I stopped once on my run today but it was a good first step in learning patience, in learning to build things correctly.  I may have run under a mile but I did it the right way.  

And we will also rebuild, only this time it will be the right way.  

The eve

What do you do on the eve of something?  Is it like being like on a cliff overlooking a steep drop?  Do I jump?  


In a garden

I am not asking for things to be the way they were, but let me try to regain the miles I have lost.  Let me earn back your smile and your trust.  It is in the silence I can hear you most and I promise I will listen to the silence.  


An old friend

 In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!

There have been moments where there is no end in sight.  Unemployment, divorce, loneliness.  The darkness seems to permeate everything with its obstinate desire to stay forever.  I was heartbroken to see my books back.   Little by little, the life we built was being torn in half.  And every tie I had to him was being dissolved.  And my fear was and still is that the most important one, the only one that matters won’t be strong enough to hold us together.  But in my irrational fear, my books spelled our eternal undoing.

My heart sank and that Saturday night while most were in euphoric moods, I stayed up with a bottle of whiskey opening each as it was a fragile memory, asking them to tell me what to do and what to say.  How is he?  Does he think of me?  In their infinite wisdom, they urged me only to read patiently and thoroughly.

And I came across an old friend, Letters to a Young Poet.  The pages are frayed and the seam worn from the many times I have combed thru that book.  If ever there was a compass in my life, it was my copy of the letters.  Whenever I reach for my tired copy, I am lost and searching whether it be for a job, a sense of being, myself, or a lost love.

I read it again on Sunday on my way to Brooklyn.  I looked up once passing our neighborhood, searching to see if he would be there on a corner.  He was not.  And that passage from letter 3 spoke to me as it did six months into my 2nd bout of unemployment, asking me to do the same.  Live the questions and the answers will come.

Lately, this grinding sadness has awakened in me a yearning for a permanent reminder of the warrior within.

But ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come.  

Free association

Me.  Lost. 
You.  Far.
Us.  Uncertain. 
My letter.  My wish for us. 
Your email.  My heartbreak. 
George.  My last tie to you. 
Love.  Too hard. 

I still root for your teams.


FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s newly launched website at ESPN, uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about politics, science, economics, lifestyle, and sports.


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