I need words because unhappy families are conspiracies of silence. The one who breaks the silence is never forgiven. He or she has to learn to forgive him or herself.

-Jeanette Winterson, Why be Happy When you Could be Normal?



Written on the imaginary list of to-do's I had perpetually carried with me were the words Lady Baltimore Cake. It was pretty. It was frothy and fancy and fruit-filled. It was the kind of cake that you don't bake so much as build. I saw the photo in Food and Drink right before the cruise we took in 2010. We were road tripping with my family to Baltimore and we liked cake and it was called Lady Baltimore and our anniversary was coming up. It seemed like a good idea. I said I would make it for him. I wanted to be that kind of wife. When we got back we were very soon moving and we were fighting and we were living and I never got around to making it. Something intimidating about the layers of meringue, the candied fruit. I baked other things, he baked other things but never the list thing. I think I was that kind of wife. 


Herr Collector

I collect furniture
bitter words

good and evil

fallen acorns
sea glass

new shoes


From Nathan Englander's "Everything I Know About My Family on My Mother's Side"

44. She is gone. She is gone, and she will be surprised that I am alive to write this-- because she, and everyone who knows me, didn't think I'd survive it. That I can't be alone for a minute. That I can't manage a second of silence. A second of peace. That to breathe, I need a second set of lungs by my side. And to have a feeling? An emotion? No one in my family will show one. Love, yes. Oh, we're Jews after all. There's tons of loving and complimenting, tons of kissing and hugging. But I mean any of us, any of my blood, to sit and face reality, to sit alone on a couch without a partner and to think the truth and feel the truth, it cannot be done. I sure can't do it. And she knew I couldn't do it. And that's why it ended.