“Don’t suspect a friend, Report him!” The ads are plastered to the sides of the Muni trains I take downtown. “Brazil!” they scream, in a font that seems disturbingly close to that for the title of the Terry Gilliam movie of the same name. It struck me as more than a little odd, an ad campaign that conjures images of tiny offices, bureaucracy run rampant, and duct work. Not to mention the shoe-hat. I wonder if the marketing department has any idea? It’s not dystopia they’re advertising, evidently. No, it’s Macy’s 55th Annual Flower Show. Yes, it seems a bit …

“Walk me down the aisle, Daddy, it’s just about time; Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don’t cry.” Dear Dad, I turned 26 yesterday. I had a party last weekend and got drunk on Brazilian cocktails. Grandpa and Grandma sent me flowers, a delivered arrangement, like they have every year since I was 19. The flowers were roses this year, pink and white. I had a birthday yesterday. Did you even notice? The last birthday card I ever got from you came in a business size envelope. You used the letter wizard in Word, probably, and sent me …

“Here is the church, here is the steeple; Open the doors and see all the people!” While walking to my neighborhood BART station yesterday, I passed a church. I’d walked by it before, for months actually, without its church-ness being all that obvious. It sits on its own artificial hill, squatting over its parking lot. The building itself is a marvel of non-traditional architecture, with three parallel roof segments, and a front wall entirely of glass, revealing a spider’s web of steel support beams inside. It reminds me of those collapsible plastic spheres you see in toy stores these days. …

“Ignore Reality. There’s nothing you can do about it.” The other day I found myself thinking about things I wrote during my last significant period of creativity, pieces written when I was certain that I would be a writer and when I did not doubt that I had something to say. The stories are neatly packaged narratives, written with the simple belief in the clean orderliness of the world. Right is right, wrong is wrong. I wrote them when I knew everything. Now, 10 years later, it seems I know so very little. When I left my small high school …

“It’s the future already, a new millenium. I don’t see any flying cars, though.” May I be forgiven. I am about to launch into a fit of nostalgia, and I’ll just say “I’m sorry” up front and get it over with. This isn’t even going to be a mellow, sighing sort of nostalgia, wherein I wax poetic about happier, simpler times, the joys of childhood, the blankies you drag all over the house, and the importance of afternoon naps. No, this is going to be hard-core, the kind of delusional, rose-colored glasses nostalgia engaged in by storytelling grandparents and by …

I woke up this morning feeling ancient. Stretched so thin, I’m probably transparent, so much without substance that I fear if I were to go outside, I would blow away or dissolve in the rain. My father died when I was 18, seven years ago, when I was a freshman in college. That’s when the dementia had destroyed enough of his brain to destroy the man I knew as my father. Dad was a laid-back sort of guy, with a sweet smile and an easy sense of humor. He loved music and technology and boats, was a championship marksman, enjoyed …