Atlanta (2006.3) - flourishes

She and I are the unintentional peas in a pod; five or six years ago we were introduced by friends who knew her, and her husband, first, and who thought of Jeff and I as "another Brian and Suzan." They were as right in many ways as they were wrong, for we are as radically different as we are eerily similar, and our friendships keep doubling over and crossing themselves and coloring and re-coloring over the lines as a result.

Atlanta (2006.2) - put your arms here

It wasn't spartan, and it wasn't center-aligned or itemized, but when I walked in and closed the door behind me I thought immediately of the simplicity of a monk's cell, and I looked at its inhabitant and thought, "I'd rename you 'Monk' if I thought I could make it stick." I said nothing.

Atlanta (2006.1) - invocation

The leaves threw themselves like lemmings across the road and I threw the Jetta from 'drive' to 'slalom,' tucking my earpiece into my left ear and beginning to dial. Fall had lit northeastern Alabama to incandescence, each leaf a sun-dappled facet, each turn an autumnal surprise."I'm going to be early," I said, looking down at my speedometer and wishing desperately for any errand on the northwest side of town that could cause me to avoid inconveniencing the person on the other end of the conversation.


"Hey, Brian wants us to meet him for lunch."

(sleepy mumbles of agreement)

"I'm working on 'enthusiastic.' Right now I'm to 'awake.'"

So I guess we'll meet up with Brian after all.


"You have to eat, kitty."

I've heard that admonition in many different voices. On this night it was the combined voice of Brian-and-Suzan, who were playing the Unified Marital Voice Of Reason.

I don't eat well before I fly. All the aerodynamics lessons in the world aren't likely to change that; my discomfort with flying has nothing to do with the concept of flying and everything to do with the issue of turning over control of my life over to a pilot whose name I don't even know.

classified documents

"We've got this black-hole policy. Things that get said at the compound stay there."

"Funny," I said, "because we've got something just like that here."

With that said, Chris visited, but so much of what we talked about falls so squarely into the realm of "no one else's business" that I hardly know what can be said about the time he spent here except to acknowledge that it happened.