the 405 s

At 7:30 on a Monday evening, southbound traffic on the 405 is starting to ebb. The average speed is 70mph, the rate at which I’m traveling as I glance toward the right side of the highway in search of my upcoming exit. It’s the rate at which I’m traveling when I return my eyes to […]


There was a fine layer of ash on my car this morning. Not dust, actual flakes of singed national forest ash. It’s like the sky had a bad case of dandruff and furiously scratched its scalp over Portland. I breathed in the ash while opening my car door, and when I got to work, ash […]

little brown packet

As I watch the small brown sugar packet fly out my hand and make its way toward the floor as if in slow motion, I let myself have a small laugh. Not an audible laugh, because I’m standing in the middle of a half-full Starbucks at 7:55am and I don’t want to seem like a […]

bird vs. phone

I’m standing on cliff overlooking the ocean in Mexico. I compulsively flip to my iPhone’s front camera to take a selfie. Click. Click. Then it happens. Something large and dark obscures my vision, and pain shoots through my right hand as my phone – and a fair amount of skin – is torn away. I […]


I’ve listened to the fan all day. It sits in its dusty corner behind my worn leather sofa, continually blowing cool air over my sleeping companion, a massive Alaskan Malamute named Dante. His thick double coat is slightly bent against the strong draft, but his eyes stay tightly shut as he stubbornly clings to sleep. […]

lost in the city

I’m currently sitting at the small kitchen table in my new apartment in Portland, Oregon. Five stories below my floor-length windows rain pelts the ground incessantly. This is day three, and most of my belongings are safely stowed away in their respective cupboards and drawers. A dry-erase calendar sits forlornly on the laminate floor, leaning […]