"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Whole Truth

As Richard pulled his limo up to the front of the Santa Monica police station, Lola pantomimed a tiny wave, as she seemed simultaneously to float and to trudge down the station’s white steps. Opening the back passenger door, she slipped across the broad back seat, directly behind her chauffeur boyfriend and steeled herself for Richard’s unavoidable questions.

Richard turned down “The Killers,” whose noisy angst blared from the car’s radio, and asked “What are you doing here? Were you arrested, or something?”

Lola replied through the limousine’s half-lowered dividing glass, “They discovered that the permit to my handgun expired, and picked me up to ask a few silly questions.”

To avoid Richards puzzled gaze, Lola immediately turned her head to look down Olympic. It wasn’t a lie exactly, it just wasn’t as a court would say “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Lola’s emotions tore at her, as if they were switchblades wrested from her by an unknown gang of assailants, then used to flay her. Empty as a ghost's tongue, she was at a total loss for words.

Maybe I’m not feeling ANYTHING?

Overhead, the sky’s blue gray haze floated like cigarette smoke exhaled in a daytime cocktail lounge.

Tell the truth Lola
, she chided herself.

I want an ice cream...........ANY flavor at all, will do.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Texting: a Vow of Silence

As the breeze shuffled in from the Pacific, Lola paused for a moment on the precinct station’s white stone, front steps. Her altercation with Buck, and the ensuing encounter with the police, left her feeling vacant as a lost glove.

Feeling now like she never wanted to speak to anyone ever again—Buck, Jackie, even Richard---Lola wondered if she could actually endure a self-imposed vow of silence? She reached into her hand bag, and gingerly removed her cell phone.

I’ll just text Richard to ask him to pick me up and drive me home.Texting, she reassured herself, MUST be exempt from a vow of silence.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Brand New Refrigerator

Lola often had difficulty distinguishing the inside from the outside. Where did her self “end” and others—in this case, Buck--- “begin”? Had she been hitting him, or had he been hitting her? She looked down at her blouse and it was white and clean as a bleached cumulus cloud—no blood, no grass stains. She didn’t feel any pain. Buck, on the other hand, looked like he had been attacked with a red paint ball gun—his shirt splashed and speckled with blood---maybe his own?

Released in her own custody, and now standing outside the Santa Monica Police station, Lola suddenly felt cold and vacant as a brand new refrigerator—all its shelves and drawers stark white and completely empty. The persistent low-pitched electrical hum in her head iced her scattered thoughts to a glacial standstill.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Superman: Suicide or Murder?

After Lola left Jackie’s home office, Jackie realized she didn’t have another client until 3:00 PM, so she sauntered from her office into her kitchen, fixed herself a cup of mint tea, and wandered into her surprisingly dark, mid-day living room. Her mind, surprisingly blank—she often “went blank” after a therapy session with Lola--Jackie sipped her tea and stared out of her living room’s large picture window, where she expected to see nothing pictured, but the warm, lazy stillness of her quiet Melrose neighborhood. Instead, she was startled by the sight of two hulking LA cops standing like rooted oaks on her front lawn, Buck barely on his feet as he teetered in a state of beaten dishevelment, and a furious Lola, animatedly pleading with the two, stone-faced officers.

Although Jackie could see that her client and her boyfriend were both in the custody of the Police, she reflexively refrained from running out of her front door to confront the two cops. Instead, she took a deep, calming breath (just as she so often implored her clients to do in moments of distress), and told herself to simply watch, simply observe, the bizarre scene that was unfolding in her front yard. As she did, a peculiar thought popped into Jackie’s mind: Hadn’t George Reeves, the actor who, in the 1950s, played Superman on TV, committed suicide after his career ended? Or had he been murdered?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Harvest Moon

Why do things that seem so far away, sometimes look so near?

A few minutes ago, Buck had been a figure who occupied a space "light years" in her past, now he was here, right here, in front of her--well lying on the ground in front of her, after she'd punched him, again and again.

What's gotten into me?

Lola's noisy thoughts turned to recollections of the golden harvest moon.

It can seem so large and looming, as it perches above the San Gabriel mountains on the late October horizon. No matter how close it looks, she reminded herself, it's merely an optical illusion.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lola's Beautiful Day

She begins to make a list—not the kind of list you scribble down and take the supermarket—but a mental list of impossible things that are nearly possible: laughing fish, blue lemons, birthday cakes with dynamite candles, her skeleton, fresh out of bones, the man she almost married, a dark hole aimed at a bullet.

My thoughts are radio waves, with geometric messages, no one, but I, can hear. Whatever I do, I must not let anyone know how to find me-- not here, not now, not ever.

It’s not that far to the coast, only a half-hour drive. The sun’s setting into the vague afternoon fog, that hunches around the Santa Monica pier this time of year. It’s a beautiful day.

For a drowning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Slo-Mo Lipstick

Time slowed down for Buck.

As Lola punched him again and again, he observed her perfectly applied lipstick---how the tiny vertical lines in the skin of her quivering upper lip looked like cherry-red ink spikes on a Richter scale. And Lola’s paper-white blouse—as she’d wrestled him to the ground—it had remained perfectly clean and starched, as if it had been freshly retrieved from the dry cleaner’s.

When the cop finally pulled the pummeling Lola off Buck’s supine body, Buck couldn’t help but notice that one of Lola’s open-toed pumps had come to rest about 30 feet from where she had assaulted him, in the dry, un-watered grass of Jackie’s front yard. It looked like a miniature scene of an overturned farm implement, abandoned in an open field, which had gone to seed.

As the cop helped Buck rise to his feet, Buck’s punch-dirty body felt like he’d been stripped nude, dipped in honey, and left to endure a million slow-motion stings of the buzzing occupants of an angry apiary.

Why does Lola feel that she needs to wear lipstick, anyway?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Left Hook

From a distance, it appeared that two bodies were writhing in tangled lovemaking. But why would two people make love in broad daylight on the brown, un-watered lawn of this Melrose home? Even in LA, you didn’t often see this kind of spectacle.

As the police approached, it was clear that a woman and man were doing something on the lawn, but as the two officers cautiously drew closer to the lump of human conflict that thrashed about in front of them, it became clear that it was far from love that was being made.

The first cop jumped in and pulled the dainty blond combatant off the punch-pummeled body of the man that lie underneath her. Lola threw one last punch at Buck, who now all too viscerally understood that nothing hurts so much as the searing sting of a fuming ex-girlfriend’s well-placed left hook.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hoped You Were Dead.

Lola’s mind filled with a kind of black mental grease that covered and clouded everything; her thoughts, her memory, even the pathways of the sensations that futilely tired to run from her spider-like fingers and reed-thin arms, to her brain. “Buck?” she stammered, as she desperately clutched her driver’s license. She looked up into Buck’s similarly stunned, yet surprisingly expressionless face. Everything escaped from her—--every thought of control, of location, of who she was now. “Buck? Buck. I hoped you were dead.”