Sunday, July 10, 2022


 Lemme talk about the food issue.

I had two friends who came to stay this summer. This summer of dementia mom, I'm two years in on my Dementia project, post production, and no end in sight. So I am spending my days with this underlying anxiety issheokay  isshehot  isshehungry  isherdiaperfull  amistealingallhermoney doeseveryonehateme howdidthishappen whyisthishappening whydontwehaveairconditioning

Okay so ALSO aside from the verysick MOTHER, everyminute, I have this family, I have a son home who is finished college and applying to grad schools to become a therapist because aside from being a masseuse, we all really need a therapist so good plan right on time

I also have a 15 year old who hasn't said a kind word in three years let alone a kind gesture. there have been other gestures. Not so many words, but I'm pretty sure you can guess the gesture.

I also have a NASA daughter who blazes into town every now and then on her path to extraordinary. She comes here to have someone to lay on, to fall over, to laugh and yell gleefully and try on tiny tshirts and then she blows back out she's got stuff to do man. She is not into the summer of nothingness, the dissolving into the warmth and sandy beach watery summer. 

and finally I have a small jew coparenting superpartner who is in the garage full time in a tiny refrigerated box office who comes out to drive people places, make tuna or watch sports every now and then.

And I have a five horse, 20 chicken, two bunny farm and pool maintenance. 

And still, loneliness?


since it's summer

I have two friends come, both with kids. One has a huge 13 year old high energy boy. One had two mellow nordic teens. All boys. Both women are slightly round wobbles, one is an actual balloon. The other one is just a love monkey.

The first one says ohh I will do the cooking and she made eggs the first day and washed one dish the next day and by the last days she was just lying flat on the couch and barely even getting up ever. Our house does do that to people, I get it. 

The other one is more entertaining, she is still excited about the world and about her place in it, she's lively and joins things, she questions things and loves things. She sees.

But neither of them, for the LIFE of them, can feed their own children. Even though I have SAID. PLEEEEASE. DON'T LEAVE IT TO ME. How have these children managed to keep ANY WEIGHT ON AT ALL. They have essentially no food functioning mother.

It is not fair for them to say ohhh you do it all so well. Ooooh but I was in the pool. Oooooh fuck you you fucking fat whores get your asses up and get in the fucking kitchen!! I don't love the kitchen!! I love NOT BEING IN THE KITCHEN! I TOLD YOU  BEFORE YOU CAME I WOULD NOT LIKE TO BE DOING THE FOOD 

Okay so things didn't work out that way. I know my house is a vacation vortex. I am a really good mother. I get hungry, my kids get mean when they don't eat, I have to make food, I do the food and then I can sit down.


These people will never do the food. I know that. When the last one left I said to Barry, I think it's better to be lonely than to have company. 

But then when we were waving goodbye to the last friend, my little daughter who has never touched me since three years ago when she was 12, she put her arm around me. Like a little friendly arm snake, an arm who has been a stranger to me, slipped around my waist and stayed there. Right in the front yard, in front of god and everyone. And she kissed me on the cheek. Cause she loves me somehow, 3 years later. I was frozen in stunned awe. She didn't forget.

I think she felt happy, having friends over that she loved. She gave me some of that, from my favorite person, her.

So goddammit, food be damned. I will have to have them over and fucking cook again.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

I am the Boat

I saw myself at the beach. Bobbing there in the mist. So freezing I came here for the sun and respite and there were raging black waves and wind chill minus 40 not really and that pirate ship floating there.

The dogs and I took a walk to the rocks like we do in summer and this is definitely not summer tho I am desperately trying to make it keep it so

My body aches so tired I lift wipe feed

I lay down on the dog sandy blanket and there's that ship out there just a rugged old fashioned sailboat like a boat from another time, sails down, anchored there nothing holding it up just a solid base

The dogs and I do nothing we lay here and the fog tries to clear a little and my daughter is just up the beach at college and my son is just up the beach at another college and I hear a train whistle and I'm not going anywhere

I haven't gone anywhere in 15 months

I've just been the face for my mom so she could see a face as she dies a face she knows and loves and trusts. I'm trying to be that face 

The waves disappear they turn green the kind you can see through

they aren't as mad

The boat has stayed the same just bobbing there like nothing is happening like the world isn't turbulent then soft then freezing then hot now flat

The dogs dig and bark at people unfriendlyish even though they're the most friendly dogs ever

I cry into the sand not because I'm sad but because I am not even consulted in this life I'm just doing this life for her and the everydayness is overwhelming. And I'm good, I take myself here and I go to the creek and I care for horses which are the quietest form of nurture nature

I am doing things best for all involved to survive maybe not thrive but if you're the 14 year old at my house, you're at least learn that love is work and care

The waves are whipped cream turbulent, fake busy now, just icing on a sunny sea

Sun brings back sparkle and I forget to be sad or helpful and just be ears hearing seagulls laughing it's so hot where we live I never meant to like it but now I can't imagine liking anything else

The boat doesn't need a solid sea because it has a solid base

It's not afraid of anything

Sunday, October 17, 2021


I remember being a kid in Santa Monica and being on the yellow couch on my knees looking out the window because my mom was late. I remember thinking what if she doesn't come home. What if she never comes home.

I pictured all these tragic things happening to her. I thought about never seeing her again.

A mom is like the clock of your life, you can't not have the mom. Your life would be a watch dropped into the toilet. A watch, because there were no cell phones back then, in the 70's. 

I thought about this the other day when I was still here, taking care of my mom. If I had known then that I would be here, almost 50 years later, my mom is still here, still ticking. She never disappeared. She never got hit by a car or ran off or was trampled by ostriches or threw herself off a 10 story building or drowned in a swimming pool. She never wasn't, in my life.

She slowly isn't, right now, because of her brain eating disease. She isn't the nurturer or the back scratcher or the lofty laugher, or the busy nurse, or the maker of creamed chipped beef or Cream of Wheat. She's filed all those situations for me to remember and recreate for my own kids or grandkids eventually. 

So even though my hair is getting see through from stress, I do what she would do which is think about palm readers, or take the callouses off my feet, or investigate a baby chicken, or contemplate travel. I do what she programmed me to do, which is care for others, and eat pizza. Don't wear shoes. Go to the beach. 

I might've added the beach. We lived near the beach when I was small, I suppose I am still gathering it. It's only an hour away now. My dad took us to the beach. He was good at imagining sandcastles and patient enough to handle it when the sides would slide off. He was good at holding all the stuff and our hands, and picking us up. Getting sand off tiny legs before getting into a station wagon, in the 1970's. 

I think what I'm saying is, lucky. 

I still have them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Kiss of Death

My daughter has decided she doesn't want to kiss on the lips hello and goodbye. 

She says it's weird.

I don't have alot of rules. I say look, my mom always said you have to kiss hello and goodbye cause you never know when it will be your last time. So let's have this one rule, it's a good rule.

I would go to kiss her and she will shrink, look sideways, and twist her mouth sideways.

I finally got mad enough that I took her phone and wouldn't give it back til she kissed me. 

Then it got weird. Like we were making small talk and all she wanted was her phone and THEN waiting for a kiss is weird. So I told her look man, this is how we do it in our family. I still kiss my dad on the lips. He kisses my brothers. It's OKAY.

I know I'm HIDEOUS, I say. But I'm not asking you to KILL JEWS

It's just a kiss.

So I got my kiss. Each time is incredibly awkward, this idiot who I have kissed her whole life since she came out at that hospital from INSIDE MY BODY.

Let's just get through this year, I told B. Let's just survive 14 years old. With this, our flower in hiding, Bess.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Love is a Dumb Waiter

I posted a pretty angry post a few days ago and I think reading it over that it was more mean than accurate. It was accurate in how mean I felt but as a writer, the core of the post was about love, and how it wrecks you or disarms you or confuses you, and so I will hone it to honor that feeling and make it less about a dumb girl.

What the fuck happened to her man.

Or maybe who was I that I liked this person who has come through my door. In a summer where I am managing a used to be normal and now dying mother, while trying to go to the beach with my living family, like we used to in a normal summer. Trying to understand where I fit and how I fit and who am I

But I am not HER.

I LOVED HER, man. I loved her for maybe all these 30 years since I met her. I gave my heart to this person! Like stupidly, because I thought, when I was 25, all those years ago, that she was what love was.

She never loved me.

She never nurtured me.

She never did anything but somewhat entice me and then leave me hanging. I guess I thought that was what love was. It was supposed to be pain and longing.

I am older now. I have all these kids, and a few horses and dogs, and there’s Barry over there.

I’m pretty sure, I’m not all the way sure, but I’m pretty sure that love is way dirtier than that purity of longing. That longing is a game I’m playing with myself, and should maybe be an app.

If you’re longing for someone that someone most certainly doesn’t live with you and disappoint you. Disappointment might be the first step to real love. Maybe disappointment is right before laughter.

She’s been gone two days now and the laughter is starting to kick in. In her case, this is not because I realize that she is my true love or a true love. This is because:

In the hardest year of my life she came into my house to use my pool.

She came into my house to not take care of me.

She came to escape her own house.

She came to leave her kid and go eat lunch.

She came so I would take care of her.

I learned:

I do not like this.

I do not like her.

I do not want a non nurturing person in my life ever again.

I am so grateful

I am so lucky

I work so hard for my good life

I used my time on this planet well

I grew my heart bigger than my intellect

I am bigger than I thought, inside

I give up, in some cases

And this is good

I am saddest about the young Jules who sat on that hill and looked at that girl and thought I had found deep love, all those years ago. I maybe knew it wasn’t deep, but I thought it was the beginning of something so amazing. She must know more than me, I thought, she was 5 years older. She was funny. She was  - no, she was not me. I thought she was me. I INFUSED all my me-ness on her and heck that was good enough for me! I’m a writer, better to create the person in my head and forget the actual person!!

Well the actual person walked through my door a week ago, the SAME exact person, just bigger, and for some reason, because I am stripped bare emotionally perhaps, this same exact person was just a horrible horrible NOT ME. Not like me AT ALL. It was real, real life.

I feel like the best part of me backed backwards into my kitchen, into a hole in the wall, down the dumb waiter and got out somewhere so much cleaner, more cementy, without all the stacks of shit that I accumulate so as not to feel the real core of my life. In actuality, the real core of me is pretty clean, and there's ice cream here. Even near the dementia booth. There's also always a wet dog, and sandy feet. For some reason. I think because that means I'm home, and a little bit of mess - there's comfort there.

It is very very funny to me now. I feel like I have amputated a part of my body, like an extra leg, that was grown just for her, and it fell off and I wrapped it up and it’s tied with this big pink bow and I threw it gleefully off the Golden Gate Bridge because this is NOT ME. 

Don’t fall in love with people in the art department. I knew it then. Grips, ok, ADs even, they will be too organized, but so what, that’s ok. Fall in love with people’s hearts, and make sure they are open and bleeding. Love the big hearted. You will never be sorry.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Security Guard

There are a few random times in my life where I felt like everything was right. Like everyone important was there and I could float rest die happy.

Once when I was driving in Jason's car and I was maybe 22 and my dog Jed was in the car and we were driving past those yellow umbrellas that artist had decorated the hills with. I remember feeling the security of a moment on that grey road with him and that car and that dog thinking 

everyone is here

Everything is alright

everything is right

Today I felt that looking at the pool after exercising after feeding her and everyone is either in the house sleeping or doing school in bed and it's almost summer and dogs are lying around and I was floating in the pool reading an amazing open hearted writer who speaks from years ago the same feelings this very person me here in modern times feels 

This security

I don't always get that we aren't on a first name basis 

And my mom can't make sentences and she cries but I fixed her toes she has healing toenails because of me and even if she isn't rich she's still mine. She would be spending time crying anyway if she were in a nursing home just without her perfect toes and me next to her

Her toes aren't perfect

They're just better than they were. Medicine on them every day for almost a year, meticulous caring to small things


anyway I had that moment. 

The Jason car moment.


I have it in the woods when Kurt is ahead and disappears in the jungle and all we hear are the horses and the dogs trustily exploring along. The path we know so well it's different every time and there is always peace in water

standing in creeks in Canada

In the ocean in Ventura with my little dots of kids and dogs on shore

Never far away

Near a cabin on a lake in New Hamsphire with my loving dad

Catching a fish with Lilly and Nathan and Uncle David and Chris

On the smooth kayak water flat as frosting with Emma

I don't always breathe I forget to breathe because life takes alot of organizing and you should see my garage

But being there and security and being wrong every day about something

why are we not all reaching for that

that's where the joy is

Monday, May 03, 2021

I am listening

I love you mom

I know you do

I know you do, she says.

When I put her in bed she says I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

It's okay, I say. Fixing her necklace that she's always worn and doesn't care about anymore. I just watched the Oscars. No awards for this.

I care about her necklace. I'm glad it's only me that she only had one daughter. You have to be strong and not want to share with anyone and so I have that. She belongs to me like only she and I know.

I regret not wedding dress shopping with her. She said you have only one daughter you see how that feels. Otherwise I guess I've made up.

I was feeling her bony chest and thinking I can't cut in there and find where she is. What makes her her isn't in there.

Walking from her place, the moon is covered in clouds, dim. I see why they do funerals. To honor the ones you love, you need to celebrate them.

I said to my mom whatcha thinking about

She said whatever you are

Sitting in the kitchen with my mom:

Mom: is your mom here

me: yes my mom is here

Mom: right here in the kitchen?

me: right here in the kitchen!

My friend Rebecca said "I think they are sending others in to check where she is"

I am listening

Just now I bring her a drink out in the sun and I give her a kiss and she says

I love you

and smiles.

I love you

Don't worry. Don't worry.

I shouldn't worry? I say

No. She says.