When I was diagnosed with diabetes more than 10 years ago, I was also informed that I have neuropathy — nerve damage in my legs and feet, one of my side effects of being diabetic. I had some numbness in my feet, but I didn't have a difficult time getting around. Not any more.
Saturday was my lucky day. Kroger had chicken liver on sale. Lightly breaded and packaged in a plastic container, it cost me less than a buck for 24 chicken livers. As I put the container in my cart, I told myself chicken liver is good for me. Whether it is or not, I haven’t bothered to check.
My annual January visit to Santa Fe to cavort with Sarah, my best friend from graduate school, carried more significance this year. Not just because the sepia-toned landscapes, crisp mountain air and crazy-blue-bright skies excite and relax me at the same time but also because, following a riotous autumn, I had some answers I needed to torture out of my own treacherous heart, and that traitor required nothing short of extraordinary rendition.
Donald (or that's what I’m going to call him here) is an older guy and a Vietnam War vet. To his way of thinking, we should have just blown that country up and started it over. "Death's a part of life," he said as I was speaking with bartender Laura about a sick mutual friend. "You just die — no fun, but you just do it."
When it comes to docs, I can be one hard-headed mofo. Back when I had a wisdom tooth yanked, after I had a bizarro reaction to the numbing meds that made me feel like I was on speed, the super-hot dentist handed me a detailed sheet of aftercare instructions. It was well written, but I promptly threw it in the dumpster.
Believe me, I never thought I’d be writing a column about divorced parents Jon and Kate Gosselin, but strange things do happen. I’ve just about had enough of these two idiots. There isn’t a week — and sometimes not even a day — that goes by that I don’t read something about Jon and Kate Gosselin.
On Feb. 18, I wasn’t standing at a bus stop on Queen City Avenue. I was standing in a driveway that had been cleared of snow. Waving my arms like hell, I was hoping the bus driver would take notice of me. The bus stopped. When I got on, I thanked the driver. “Hey, I don’t expect my passengers to wait at bus stops in conditions like this,” he said. “People wave me down and I stop for them, don’t want anybody to get hurt trying to get on a bus.”
Once there was a middle-aged woman who found herself single at fortysomething. She joined Single Parent organizations, met people before the dawn of the scanner and picture exchanges and survived the resultant trauma.
I can’t say I know this person. She’s really just an acquaintance I run into every now and then. but apparently she feels like she knows me well enough — or more likely had enough drinks in her — to send me some text messages.
Who are you? I heard you singing. Even today, 14 years later, the strange tone of his ghostly voice still streaks across my mind. But this isn’t your everyday love letter. Come with me. Seattle. 1996. Within wet backyards, life was reckless and wild.
Walking up Sixth Street in downtown Cincinnati on a cloudy January afternoon, I saw her standing there on the sidewalk. I was rushing to the bus stop while she was talking to a man I didn't know. I wasn't sure if she had noticed me or not, but a text message on my cell phone later that night told me she did. Her message saying "I miss you" hurt a little, but the reality is I don't miss her. I'm the one who walked away from the friendship.
My Facebook status on Jan. 8: "I drove home calmly and safely, keeping the RPMs low as I navigated the steep hills. I stepped into enormous silence, so brilliantly alone, with the snow moving, but seeming so still all around me. I opened my mouth to taste and to let out a deep laugh. A perfect moment: I am grateful for this solitude."
Jan. 6: The first major snowfall of the winter season is predicted for tomorrow, and I'm ready. I tell myself I live in the Midwest because I like the change of the seasons and snow can be beautiful. When the snow comes, I'll build a snowman. I always liked doing that when I was a kid. Jan. 8: Alright, it can stop now.
It was a time when politics were upside down, when elites were rarely mentioned and a backlash had already occurred when Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968. It was a time when college campuses were battlegrounds, when the angriest voices were found there and on urban streets and had faces and names.
Springfield, Ohio, is on my mind, and I don't know where Erin is. In the fall of 1993, I moved to Springfield. This was a location transfer from my employer, and in my head I thought it was going to work out fine. I was separating from my wife and looked at Springfield as a fresh start. Erin helped me start again.