He said people of our generation can’t handle getting old

this was days after the suicides

of two figures we  all thought we knew

i watched the way he walked down the street

a loping, arguably elegant gait

baggy pants

assertive strides

long arms swinging

an impatient walk

an athlete’s walk

i’d known that walk for thirty years

and i started to weep behind my glasses

because we once were young lovers

exploring L.A.

exploring each other

and we once were married for years and years

and we once made those gorgeous children

and because now we are on our way

to collect my mother’s remains:

salt and minerals

paper, ash, and bone

and i don’t have to walk alone





20 Things My Mother Told Me


  1. New shoes on the table bring a policeman to the door. (Scottish superstition)
  2. Don’t you want to put a little lipstick on?
  3. For job interviews, college interviews, things that count: just be yourself.
  4. Men stopped me on the street, or on the subway, to ask for my number.
  5. I dated Steve McQueen when I was living in The Village — he was too fast for me.
  6. Growing up, I never had anyone in my corner.
  7. When I told my mother I was marrying your father, she opened the window and screamed “bloody murder!”
  8. When I sang in church as a little girl, the nuns told me to mouth the words. I always thought I was tone deaf.
  9. My sister had a thing for mobsters. Your dad did too. He always wanted to double date with M. and her guy, Budgy.  She always had a new fur coat, and they got us in to all the clubs.
  10. I’m just going to lie down for half an hour.
  11. Unfortunately, most men of my generation are male chauvinists.
  12. I never learned to treat acting as a business.
  13. Your father was the love of my life.
  14. Your father was a narcissist.
  15. Once you have kids, everything changes in the marriage. Be prepared.
  16. French women are incredibly stylish, but so are New Yorkers.
  17. I wanted more children, but your father already had a son.
  18. I loved Jed like he was my son.
  19. Things got crazy in Fire Island. Too much drinking and chasing women around.
  20. Don’t scratch the chicken pox. Instead, wear white gloves, and eat chicken noodle soup, hard boiled eggs mashed with butter and toast, or rose-colored Jell-o.