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2:30 pm Today, my sister, Lena, was born.  Happy Birthday, Sorella.  I say a silent thank  you each day that you and I get to share this life. Ones die and others get pregnant.  New beings, scratch their way out … Continue reading

the Hat

The problem with having expensive things is loosing them.  

I got a nice hat recently.  A part of myself felt like I was the character in Bob Dylan’s song, the one with the leopard skin pillbox hat.  I felt cool in my wool, tweed brown, bowler hat with feathers on the side.  I put it down on subway seat next to me, waiting for the Q train and took the train to the City.  I only realized that it was gone when I was crossing Manhattan Bridge.  I wonder who is wearing my hat now.  And I wonder if they feel as cool as me.  Maybe even more, because they got it for free.  

It’s only a material possesion, I thought, but how much better would it be to walk into the party with my special hat on.  

The ego is a powerful dream that gives stregth and torture.



Alyssa’s brother

Alyssa’s brother died.  Beautiful Alyssa and her only little brother.  He was strong and handsome when I met him years ago.  They were born eleven months apart and called themselves Irish twins.  Cancer is an epidemic of our time.  Cholera, black death, Aids, but where is Cancer on this list.  Cancer has no bounds anymore, it takes anyone of any age.  We sit quietly, scared that it might take one of us and it does.  It took my precious Lucy and now it has taken Alyssa’s brother only at thirty-seven.  But no one blames Cancer, it is life we blame.  It is luck, or fate or God that we blame.  It is not fair, it is awful that a young man with two small kids, only one and three years old, should be taken like that.

What is going on?  And why are we half awake.

“Oh, That is sad. That’s tragic,” the ones who didn’t know him say.

I only met him few times, but his light was strong enough to bring me to a day of mourning today.  I picture his wife, who I met when they were still dating, she had a great vibe and I picture her face now, imagining what she must feel.  His family can’t be the same.  His children will grow up without knowing their amazing father.

They recently bought their dream house, Alyssa told me, and on his last day, he went to sit by the lake outside his home.  He finally made it.  He wanted to be in nature.

It it is painful to watch life unfold in vicious ways.

God, do you hear us?

Whatever love I have, I send it out to your mourning families.

Before I heard the news today, I was frustrated about my day.  I lost my hat yesterday and later last night, I lost one of my gold earrings.  How could I loose so much stuff in one night, I thought.  So many things that I loved.


Today I was sick again.  My body had chills and fever and my chest was full ungodliness.  I used to be a sickly child, my mom said.  I didn’t go to kindergarden because I would get sick so often, so … Continue reading



I found out about Sammy last Friday.  Isaiah and I were doing our running drill to the park.  We took turns doing short sprint races to different markers.  Friday was our day together.  I was half awake, and the grey windy morning didn’t help my dazed condition.  I wanted to have fun with Isaiah, but I also wanted a nap.

I saw the flowers from a distance as we got closer to Prospect Park.  There was the usual metal blockade at the entrance that was placed to keep cars out of the running and biking loop, but all around it, there were pictures, bouquets, stuffed animals and candles.

Shit, Isaiah is going to ask why they are there, was my first thought.  I was more scared by the idea that I have to explain to him that someone died there, then the fact that someone died.  As we got closer, I felt a severe reality slap on my face, waking me up from my zombie state.

I was looking at a tragedy.

Sammy Eckstein’s twelve-year-old dimpled face was starring at me with bright beautiful eyes from one of the pictures.  I didn’t know what happened to Sammy, but I knew that this beautiful boy was gone way too soon.

“What happened?” Isaiah asked me, watching me examine this urban funeral, and hearing my worried, sad eyes.

“I don’t know, Isaiah.”  I usually told him the truth, but that time, I didn’t have it in me.  This was too much.

I thought about Sammy all morning.  I imagined the pain of his family.  I cried.  There was something so familiar to me about Sammy’s face.  Like, he was a relative, likeI have seen this boy on his scooter in Park Slope.  He was just another Park Slope kid, like Isaiah.

The next morning, we went back to the park.  This time, there were a few people around the memorial.

“What happened to him?”  I said to an older woman, who was reading the little notes that the kids have written and taped all around.

“He was my grandson.” She said, looking up at me for second through her sunglasses, “they don’t know exactly how it happened but he was hit by a van and he died.  He lived right there across the street,” she pointed at a building on Prospect Park West.

“Oh no, I am so sorry.”  I said, and tears came to my eyes.  I wanted to hug her.  I wanted to say more.  I patted her arm and repeated that I was sorry.  So, so sorry.
“He was a good boy,” she said, “you never think this could happen to you,” she said.

“Be very careful,” she turned to Isaiah. “It happened so quickly.  You have to be careful.”  Her warning filled me with fear and pain.  It was one moment that they could never take back, never fix, never rewind.

After that, I had to explain to Isaiah that the boy died.  I explained to him how careful we have to be around cars.  I explained that we should never even come close to an intersection.  I held his little hand and thanked god that he was still alive and I prayed for Sammy.  And I wept for his family.