every minute of every hour...

“we can leave the Christmas lights up till January...”

We both know they’ve stayed up longer than that. What year was it, I can’t remember, that we left them up all year then added Halloween ones in October so that there was just a mishmash of ornaments and spiderwebs and lights all around the apartment? I know it was the apartment on North. But other than that, I don’t remember.

Speaking of, our old apartment is up for rent again. I saw it on a listing the other night. I wander if the building managers have actually fixed the intermittent leaking from one apartment to another or whether they’ve just fixed it well enough for now. I want to warn the future tenant: once the water came streaming down in the doorways like in a horror movie. water should never drip inside your house like that. there’s probably still mold in the walls. I hope the pigeons still rule the back porch.

And so we moved.



I can’t say you died last year anymore for this is a new year.

Somehow, I made it through 2023. A whole year without you. I hated it. I reached for things that we loved with both hands, trying to hold on to what it was like when you were by my side. I spent a lot on concert tickets and takeout and books, of course. I drank and I read and I thought about writing, but it felt hollow most of the time. I returned to England and saw the sea again. I scattered some of your ashes over Glastonbury Tor and in the sea at Whitby, and a few other places I thought you would like. Jasmine hugged me tight after each time.

Sometimes I think I’ve lost the capacity for happiness. There are moments of contentment and pleasure and imagination. Jenny crawled onto my lap voluntarily yesterday. I watched a sci-fi movie that made me want to work on the Space Lesbians. I have two interlibrary loans checked out, one ready at the branch, and four more in the holds request. (A small attempt to spend less money on books…we will see.)

I’ve been thinking of rereading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn again. It feels like it might be that time.

“People always think that happiness is a faraway thing,” thought Francie, “something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains – a cup of strong hot coffee when you're blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you're alone – just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.” – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith