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The Corporatorium: I Am Prometheus (Episode One)

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I am Prometheus. Prometheus. Say it slowly, roll the letters around in your mouth. Prometheus. It is not my real name but it is name most fitting for me. Prometheus, the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, chained to a rock, his liver eaten daily by an eagle, in eternal damnation for stealing fire and gifting it to mankind. Yes, there are definite similarities between us.
I am Prometheus, and this is my story. Except it’s not my story. I wish it was, but I am not unique or special. This is the story of untold millions of hapless chaps and chicklets caught up in the grinding gears of the corporate machine.
This is a faux memoir told episodically. You will be inclined, at times, to laugh at us, and cry for us. Do not hold back either impulse. That is the point of sharing this story—to remind us that life is nothing but a series of small comedies and tragedies. What is important is what we take away from each occurrence, what we learn from each calamity and joy.
What will be…

Eight Minutes and Forty-Seven Seconds

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Eight minutes and forty-seven seconds. The length of time a white police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of a handcuffed black man, George Floyd. For eight minutes and forty-seven seconds—three minutes longer that it took George Floyd to stop moving and breathing—he knelt on his neck, hands in pockets. The brutal murder of George Floyd—and make no mistake, George Floyd did not die—he was murdered. His murder sparked 13 straight days of protests, some peaceful, many riotous—as a nation and its global neighbors rose up and said Enough! Thirteen days during which “President” Trump teargassed a crowd pf peaceful protesters, appropriated God and the Holy Bible to use as props to bolster his failing reelection campaign, and turned the White House—the People’s House—into a gated fortress.My husband and I attended a protest last night at McMichael Park in our East Falls neighborhood. It was peaceful and it did my weary heart good to see so many neighbors—of all races and hues an…

Silver Linings

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Growing up I remember the older folks around us saying frequently, “Count your blessings.” This came back to me recently because the news is so bleak. It’s all the sky is falling, the sky is falling. Oh it didn’t fall yesterday but today for sure. Or maybe not today but definitely in the Fall! Everywhere folks are lamenting “the COVID-19 outbreak has changes lives ways that were previously unimaginable.” This week I decide to both count my blessings and look at the unimaginable ways life has changed, all with an eye to the silver lining of this all.Counting blessings…I wake up in the morning next to a man who has been at my side for twenty-four years, in a room flooded with sunlight in a house I love. Birds sing on the other side of the window as the dogs snore gently.Life has changed…When I go outside, there are kids learning to ride their bikes up and down our street. This seems to be strictly the domain of dads. Some of the kids we’d only ever seen as they waved hello or goodbye fr…

Oh, The Crazy: Navigating an Anxiety Disorder and Finding Peace

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I’ve wanted to talk about this for so long. But who was there to talk to? I wanted to write about it for so long because writing is somehow easier than talking. But how do you write about crazy when crazy is all you know? How do you write about something when you have language but no words to describe the pain, the fear, the crazy?And so, it remained unwritten, unspoken until one day when a coworker callously, casually ascribed her habitually unemployed, controlling husband’s actions to “his OCD.” That did it. I wanted to scream, to explain. Then I thought I’d finally blog about it. Instead, I wrote it into the book I was working on. One of the main characters in my third novel, In His Eyes, became a stand in for me, told the story I could not.Dinner was full of grace, exhibiting a chef’s finesse, subtly seasoned. Calvin raised his glass. “Here’s to our chefs—Micah and Skye—you’ve done it again. Every year, just as we think you couldn’t top last year’s meal, you do it again.”“Cheers.”…

Covid-19: What I've Learned About Writing & Fear

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Day 43 of the Coronavirus Lockdown. People are saying they’re bored, lonely, stressed. They’re tired of being stuck at home, video conferencing; they want to get their nails done, their hair cut, their kids out from underfoot.
I admit these complaints haven’t fallen on sympathetic ears. I’m impatient with the complaints and self-pity. I tend not to dwell on things I can’t change. And if there’s a problem I try to fix it. I don’t complain a lot because hell, no one can hear me over their own litany of complaints and petty dissatisfactions. (Full Disclosure: I have an anxiety disorder for which I take Lexapro which has been life changing; more on that in a future post.)
Don’t take this to mean I don’t find this pandemic jarring. I do. And any confidence I had in the U.S. government to manage this crisis has fallen to nearly nil. I’m also having flashbacks. This pandemic reminds me of the early days of the AIDS pandemic—back when no one knew quite what this new disease was, or how to trea…

This is a Bridge too Fucking Far

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I'm sure this will lose me a bunch of connections, but I've had enough. You cannot call yourself my friend, my neighbor, describe yourself as someone who wishes me no harm AND support Donald Trump and his administration. You can't say you're not a racist and support the policies of this racist administration. You can't say you're an ally and support this homophobic administration. You can't say you're "Pro Life" and support this administration when they are doing THIS to children. Black children, brown children, are still children and equal to your precious WHITE children. I am not a parent and this breaks my heart. YOU would die to protect your children if this was happening to them. And you know what? So would I. Most likely YOUR forebears were immigrants and faced discrimination, yet you set yourself above and beyond AND BETTER THAN, more DESERVING than, today's immigrants. You are a disgrace and unChrist like. I am embarrassed to say …

World AIDS Day: Remembering Their Names

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Wayne, Bruce, Troy, Greg, Marcus, John, Dominic … I remember their names. Beautiful men — mostly young, certainly too young to die. Today for World AIDS Day I remember them and the early days of the epidemic in a column in Philadelphia Gay News. You can read the article here.

Thanksgiving: A Minefield of Emotion and Stress

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Let’s face it—despite its designation as the “Day of Sharing and Joy,” Thanksgiving can be a a minefield of emotion and stress. Perhaps that's why I like writing about it--all that drama and revelation in a relatively small window of time. 

To honor the day, below is an excerpt from my last novel, In His Eyes. In this scene, four old friends gather for thanksgiving. A fifth is added to the mix, upending traditions and leading to secrets being revealed. Hope you enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving! 
86. Thanksgiving 1991 Micah and Calvin had recently moved to a large stone house in a suburb, unremarkable except for its preponderance of sweeping emerald lawns, Maseratis, and trophy wives. Skye, who was staying the weekend, had arrived the night before and so was already there when Reid arrived with Odessa. She was dressed in an enormous pink wool swing coat with dolman sleeves trimmed with pink fringe, and a shawl collar also trimmed in pink fringe. She was all smooth planes and discreet curves…