I watched you walk across the water. It was a creek. I would have called it a creek under almost any other circumstances, but at that moment it was a river. You carried the pack, moving from stone to stone, feet never trying to occupy the same space. You went with your elegance and grace and confidence. Those things I admired and loved and envied in you. With hesitation, I followed. Two rocks quickly. The third slower. I stopped and stared at the next one. It was more triangular than flat, and the water rushed over it.

You came back across, took my pack, and deposited it on the other side. You stood several paces in front of me and waited. I picked up my right foot several times, feeling the weight on my left. I knew–I knew!–that the point was not to move on my left foot, to shift my balance there, but rather to use it as a point to steady myself. I’d done it before but the water and the cold and the snow ate at such fear in my head. I imagined falling in and being swept all the way back to where we started. From here to there, the water picked up silt and runoff and turned from clear to the brown and red of milky tea. I could see myself floating in it.

I closed my eyes and then opened them and picked up my right foot, moving quickly forward several more steps. You reached out your hand and took mine. The final balance point.


I have highly detailed opinions on a lot of things. Most things probably. Here is one about presents.

The ideal present is one that:
1) has a use or practical purpose, but is something someone is unlikely to purchase for themselves. (This can also include helping someone ‘level up’ something they are purchasing/planning on purchasing.)
2) experiential
3) consumables

1) A new backpack, when you have a less than ideal one that still works. A solid chef’s knife. A nice bag/business card case/etc for the new grad.
2) cooking classes, amusement park trip, babysitting.
3) ice cream, pie, fruit, special honey or maple syrup, home made root beer.

One thing to make this easier is to listen to what people say. These are words of wisdom from my dad, and I’ve heard it from other people as well. If your friend makes an off handed comment about how they have bad bike lights, file that away and know you can get them a cool bike light and that it will be appreciated.

It’s more work than wish lists, but more fun for me anyway.


Here they are. The files are named not with their actual names out of laziness.


My birthday is in May. Like everyone, I have thoughts on age and time and meaning. I’ll share them with you if you’d like. Just ask.

As part of this, I am getting rid of some stuff I’ve made in the past year. This contains approximately seventeen paintings and two photosets. I am giving things away; anything left by the end of the month is going to be destroyed.

If you want a painting, you can have it. If you’d like it shipped to you, you pay shipping. If you’re local, I’ll deliver it to you by bicycle. I’ll even wear a hat. You are welcome to come pick up things.

Paintings are on canvas, unstretched and unframed. I can arrange for framing if you’d like (at cost to you.) I will retain photographs of paintings.

On photos: I have some photosets. These were done in collaboration with two local photographers. As far as I know, they have copies of the photos. If you would like a photo (or photos), you have the following options: 1) I will get them printed (at cost to you) and/or 2) I will give you a copy of the files. Any of these given away will then be deleted from my computer. Photographers may still retain copies. If you would like to see the complete photosets, drop me a line and we can meet up.

As photos of everything become available, I will post them. (Photo will be removed once a piece is claimed if the claimer requests it.) You can get a peek by browsing through the “art” tag. If you claim a piece, I will tell you about it if you’d like.


A response to love.

“I think I still love my ex-girlfriend.”

“What about me?”

“It’s just that…”

We both knew it. I’d said no too many times, and eventually you stopped asking.

“Okay,” I said. “So where does that leave us?”

“I’m going to try and get back together with her.”


I couldn’t eat for a week.

“Someday,” I said “I’m going to tell you to go away and mean it.” You wrapped your arms around my waist and put your head on my breast, your face turned inward. You got tears on my yellow linen shirt. I would button the jacket to my suit until they dried. “But I guess that’s not today.”

“I can’t do this,” I say to you over the phone. I’m too weak to do it any other way. I know you’ll cry and I can’t deal with that. “You want things I can’t give you.”

I hear your tears across the line.

You shrugged off my hand. Our friends were around, and our relationship had always been a private one so I didn’t think much of it. We went back to your room and took a nap. It was hot and the sun came in through your window to make it worse. You were sticky and I was sticky and I thought neither of us cared.

“m.,” you said. “I think we need to stop doing this.”

I swallowed hard and forgot what else you said. It took me years to forget how you smelled. Sometimes I still wake up remembering how you felt.

After months away, I was home. I lay on my bed and called you. Or you called me. I’d seen you only a few days before. The taste of you was still on my fingertips. Over our time apart, our last fight faded through first stilted and then flowing messages sent across the world. When we’d been together, everything had suddenly made sense.

“There’s something I need to say,” you said. “You can probably guess what it is. You know, J, I just can’t stop thinking about her. I know she said no, but I’m just going to keep hoping and hoping.”

That wasn’t what I was guessing.

We were drunk, again. It’s how we were together so frequently. You were telling someone a story, about something or another. I was zoned out, wondering how I’d gotten there and how I was going to get home.

“…my girlfriend…” I heard you say.

“Back in the US?” Someone asked you.

“Canada,” you said.

I looked at you. “Family business,” you said to me quietly. We’d talk about it later, you meant. We never did.

We sat on the front steps. I think it was hot. I don’t remember. I remember you wearing your beige t-shirt and those shorts I secretly thought made you look ridiculous.

“We’re making each other miserable,” you said. “I think we should stop.”

I nodded. We’d been going back and forth with that for months.

“We’ll see each other in October,” you said. I knew we wouldn’t. All of me was numb.

The next time you spoke to me, you told me you had a girlfriend and your dad was dying.

We’d barely slept since Wednesday night. We’d fought the night before. You said you didn’t want to live with me, you didn’t want to think about us having a future together. That wasn’t why we fought, it didn’t come out of our fight. It came later. After things made sense again. Then, what you said was with us and next to us. It slept between us that night.

In the morning, calm, I asked you why.

“I couldn’t deal with people saying, oh, look at him, another girl who’s–”

This was something I’d heard before. I felt cold.