Saturday, July 31, 2010


They say in just a moment your life could be altered forever.

I've gone over every instance in my life, every gradual change, every crucial metamorphosis and the only thing I’ve come to realize is that it is far more difficult to differentiate this moment than I ever imagined. It blends in with pink panthers, within the fine creases in life, hiding behind emotions at times best left untouched, or emotions we never knew where there. These moments are secreted within memories we glazed with sugar over the years so as not to remember how they felt when they were imminent. Or within changes so subtle, they threaten to not be there at all.

They say in just a moment your life could be altered forever. But can you really ever isolate this moment, put your finger on it and say, “This is when everything changed”?

Was it last Monday that it all shifted or did this happen years ago? Are we aware of this moment when it is happening or is it one we could only detect in hindsight? Is it the silent moments that crawl past slowly like the short hand on a clock, transforming us over days, months and years? Or is it the ear-splitting moments that shake us to our very core, so that we’ve become different in the span of a blinking second?

Is it the moments we can see coming in the distance, days anticipated, marked in red on calendars? The crucial moments spiked with mixed emotions, smiles that paralyze us with fear and excitement? Tomorrows we are sure will be different from the day before, because we are groomed for them. Because we are warned of their tendency to touch us so deep that we can watch our faces morph in the mirror. Or is it the abrupt moments that creep up on us when we are least expecting, that change us thoroughly? Tragedies that show up on our doorstep in the dead of night? Phone calls we receive when we are shopping for clothing that tell us everything will be wonderfully different.

Is it the sad moments? The ones we so long to discard but hang on to for the fear that if we were to let them go we would lose a part of ourselves? Or is it the happy ones? The can’t-eat-can’t sleep-heart-throbbing-adrenaline-pumping moments of utter ecstasy?

The question has to be: Is it just one moment that changes us irrevocably or a collection of moments we’ve accumulated over the years that tell us who we are and who we are destined to become?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

When I was little, and cash for Slurpees was running low, my sister and I would run to my father and beg for an allowance. An allowance is when my dad would reach deep into his pockets, fish out a tissue, a rainbow array of credit cards and some loose change. First he’d try to pawn his old Kleenex off on us. We’d squeal and insist he behave. So he’d put on a solemn face and ask how much we’d like him to charge on his black card. When that failed, he’d break into his generous smile and tell us that if we were good we could have a quarter each. Gasp.

But then there were those times, when he had time to kill, that he’d get a kick out of making us earn it. There was this game he loved to make us play, and it’s my belief that he enjoyed it far more than we. But then again we were in dire need of blue and red sugar in a cup so we were more than okay with amusing him for pay.

So he’d sit there, in his favorite armchair, take off his glasses and close his eyes. We’d bring him one of his many books and he’d have to guess which one it was. He’d feel them, flip through the pages and…um, sniff them. If he got the title wrong, we’d get a dime but if he got it right, we were down 10 cents. You’d think after our exhausting efforts, we’d at least leave with a Slurpee at the end. Truth is, on a good day we left with about a dollar fifty in debts.

And all along I thought my father was, I’ll admit, kinda freaky. I mean, he had hundreds of these books. They all looked like they were made from the same paper, about the same size and I was roughly certain they all smelled the same. So, for lack of a better explanation, I had come to the conclusion that my father was…an alien.

Of three things I was absolutely certain.

First, my father was not human.

Second, there was a part of him- and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be- that would resort to cheating to keep our sugar addiction at bay.

And third, I needed expose his tricks so I could make my dollar and fifty cents back and be on my way to 7/11.

I never did make my money back that day, nor did I expose his odd gift, but ten years later, I’ve discovered something kind of important. And it’s called, my dad is human after all. Yay.

Of course, that fact is no where near as fun as it would be to have a father from a distant planet but, it’s also pretty reassuring at the same time. Not only is my dad an earthly creature, but it appears we have more in common than I thought. Okay, so I can’t sniff the title out of a book, true. Because I don’t read those books. I don’t learn them and I’m pretty sure I can’t read Hebrew. But tell me to close my eyes, put my ipod on shuffle and I’ll tell you the name of the song playing, the album its from and the remainder of the lyrics.

Sure it’s pretty useless and it probably means I need to get a life but, hey, here’s to potential. Here’s to knowing that if I ever really needed to close my eyes and tell you the name of a book, I probably could. Here’s to the idea that if any of us put forth half as much effort to the significant things in life as we do for cars and dresses we’d be halfway to sitting in a chair and keeping a few nine year olds from their Slurpee money.