Monday, August 30, 2010

Funny How Quickly Life Changes

Dear Clothes Line,

Last night while my head was in my crotch,

And the pizza was wafting,

And the fire codes were busting,

And the stakes were pulpy,

And the stakes were high,

And my clown nose was wedged between my spreading thighs,

And my one and only was on sound,

And paper girl was there,

And my T--Rex was scratching his voice on the booth,

And my twisted elf was contorting,

And Ernestine was rolling,

And our Buddhist nun was also,


And Sticky was beaming,

I promised,

To come home.

Leave a light on,
Skin and Toast

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Goodbye Rocky, whom I affectionately call the professor, grande cappuccino. Exact change, elderly.
Goodbye Elizabeth, venti nonfat latte with a tall cup of non fat foam on the side. I remember when you were pregnant with Libby, now she's a person, she talks and goes to school.
Goodbye Anne with the venti one tea bag zen, one honey, and easy ice water. Thank you for talking my ear off every morning, thank you for taking such an interest in my life, thank you so much for that one time. Thank you for holding up the line three times a day, that was liberating to watch.
Oh, Bernie, you could be my favorite with your doppio machiatto to go, stale madelines, two eggs sunny side up, and the blond in the corner.
Ladies and gentlemen; Joe! Put your hands together. Somehow I got in the habit of announcing you each and every 10am, really loud, shame you leaned towards the racist side.
Walter outside with the street wise, you could gossip circles around any one of my Croatian girlfriends, solid my brother, solid. Don't steal.
Andy with the Venti unsweetened no water easy ice black iced tea. You stopped coming in suddenly, I was worried so I asked the other guys from your office if everything was OK. Turns out your husband died. I'm so sorry. They say you're doing better.
Pat, tall iced coffee with milk. If we forget to sweeten it you get your headaches. You retired last year. It's not the same without you.
Grace, tall red eye with ice, you moved to Texas, I will never forget you, you always looked so confident, I imagine you're a pediatric heart surgeon; kind eyes. Thank you, thank you.
Random guy who said he'd be back in three hours with his girlfriend, we'll order tea and take a seat by the window, would you mind bringing this Tiffany's vase containing a dozen long stem roses out to our table? Sure. Thank you, I'm proposing tonight and I want to make it special. No problem. You tipped well, most I've ever gotten in a night.
Rado, you were in the second world war, I could see it, you called me your friend and I believed you.
The freaks.
The blue collars.
The Christmas spirits.
The blind.
The after school punks.
The new moms.
The hopeful screen writers.
The lost.

It's been a pleasure.

Everyone else,
I hope you get what you deserve.
I live to prove you wrong.

Just hired at the local independent, get insurance through school, don't need your commute, or your tone, it's your tone that really got to me,
Skin and Toast

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Lamott-- says not to make any decisions after nine thirty pm.

Good advice.

It's five am after a hectic night at the theatre/followed by forty five minutes at the aggressive bar/the one that coughs the last call onto your neck in a ball/a wad/of molten flem.

As soon as the friends turned the corner towards their Subaru I was given permission by friend boy to, how do you say? Break, the levies?

It didn't take as long as I thought. A few hours had blistered over the burns, I had enough clarity from God, or my dead brother to gather that worse things had happened, and it was starting to rain, lightly, which always puts things into perspective.

I was a bit shaken up by a run in with some of my sperm donor's trixies. But, it is well past nine thirty pm. And I haven't decided whether or not this is the place to disclose the particulars. I was quite shaken up. Caught off guard. Robbed of my knees.

Don't worry, between the chat with paper girl in the dressing room, and the ride home with friend boy, it's totally purged, and licked in the wounds.

We even sat in the parked car for a good twenty five discussing the preposterous nature of the kindle, truly at a loss as to how that device could ever be an improvement on anything.

At this point the rain was poring, and we had no choice but to run, to streak through the hail, pleading and soaking forgiveness from Anne.

Split a bottle of raspberry lambic and popped in a hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt DVD, something pocketed from the back room of Starbucks, something starring that Paige chick, shhh! This is a public forum.

Now we have only the sound of my typing, the sleepy gurgles of a friend boy who admits he will never completely understand, the light patter of an early morning rain meeting the tin shell of our air conditioner.

I think it's safe to say we can call it a night.

More later,
Skin and Toast

Thursday, August 19, 2010

End of an Era


Is it true?

Is it really closing? OUR Our Town?

I promise never to see another production as long as I live. It's true what I said, that when my reflection smears that monologue across CTA windows, I only want to see your face and your tears staring back at me.

It's also true what they say; I love New York. I wanted to go so bad. I wanted to carve out a tiny plush perch on a weathered Brooklyn address. I wanted to wrap my four favorite things in a purple handkerchief from Eloise, and go. I wanted to go.

I wanted friend boy and kitties to go too.

I wanted a photographer from National Geographic to take our picture as we stepped on to the grand central platform. I wanted to go. I wanted to land. I wanted to wear old fashioned boots with laces and hooks. I love New York. I knew exactly where to go, and what to do, and how fast to walk when I was there for the audition. I just knew, my feet took me there. I was confident in ways I'm never confident in this city I've lived in for twenty six years. The people on the train looked like pictures of my parents when they were young, the crowds squeezed me in the appropriated cardinal directions, and everything was clearly labeled.

At the bar with the fire places back in Chicago, the night before you left; you whispered in my ear that I would always be your favorite Rebecca.

You're my favorite, and my only Emily. At the very end of my life, when I slip into comma, I'll turn to the fake trees and hanging lights, and I'll say; Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten.

And the fake trees and hanging lights will say; shh! It's almost over.

And you'll say; I can't, It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. Take me back.

Alright, alright, lets say one day I have a daughter. And one day she's in the school pageant. And it happens to be Our Town. Then, and only then will I risk loosing the placement of your inflections-- The folds of your ribbon-- Our silent air traffic communication across the chairs on tops of tables at the end of each first act.

You never know. Last I heard I was technically still on hold for the role. They could call me and ask me to come in for the final four weeks.

I wont hold my breath.

Take care of George for me.

Break all your legs.
Your neighbor,
Skin and Toast and Bacon and February

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh Buster,

Sometimes I think I have a remembering problem.
The sun will hit a building a certain way,
And there you are purring and drooling inside my grade school ears.
There have been many kitties through out the years.
But, you were the first.
You looked like Matchbox,
Younger though,
Just a little baby.
I was never mad at you for crapping on the rug,
Who needs carpet anyway?
-Makes me itchy.
I loved you,
You looked just like Matchbox,
Younger though,
Just a little baby.
She can't help her temper,
As far as I know,
It can't be helped.
Math homework can be helped.
Tempers, they need to be scraped out like a tumor.
Except, not by the hand of a hot Nicaraguan specialist,
Maybe under the guidance,
But, the actual surgery,
led on horseback, with white flags, and scarlet letters,
By the hands, and sticks of the patient herself,

But, that would imply that she is not a victim,
Or that she's tired of being a victim.
I suppose,
It would have to lead down that muddied road anyway,
Or out that window.
I remember that window.
In that itchy living room above that corduroy couch,
It was a basement apartment on the corner of Sheffield and Armitage.
It was cold,
And when you looked out those windows you saw feet,
Or terrified flashes of orange and white.

In a fit of rage,
She picked you up by the tail,
And threw you out that window,
Sounded like a pig being slaughtered,
Or like a baby being abandoned,
Like hell on earth, on Wednesday, on sidewalk.
Poor little guy,
Just a baby.

One minute you were there,
The next minute the sun shone sideways on the concrete blocks above us,
And the next minute,
You were gone.

Poor little guy.

I can relate.

East coast half #3 can probably relate more,
She was very young.

They said you would come back.
Don't worry,
I'm not mad that you didn't.
She's mean.
I wouldn't.

She doesn't.

Here we all are,
shopping for curtains on opposite ends of the world,
Trying not to look back,
Swallowing our own inherent rage.
Knocking on doors,
Squinting at the memories that slip in through the cracks.

Hoping this finds you curled up and cozy on the lap of your fake mom,
The couch of your green room,
Or the foot of your brother.

Skin/Toast/Fresh Milk

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peaks and Valleys

Dear Pebbled Streams,

America's Next Great Artist?
What next?
Isn't that a little broad?
Broad like Jonathan's shoulder's,
Even after the dramatic weight loss.
Let's be honest, Jonathan Paul is my sperm donor,
And the diabetes have left him thin, svelte.
Now they're both shrinking.
Help us.

I mean; the Chef's, and the runways, they could benefit from some exposer, it seems, but the art school drop outs? That's a stretch. Oh, I don't know, I don't follow that one.

But, the kitchen, and the shop; those surfaces seem naturally competitive. Am I crazy?

We do it,
And then give it,
And then do it again.

Well, I can't speak for all of us.
And aren't the cooks and milliners,

Why is this perturbing me?

Probably because I live for PR.
And, it might be getting out of hand, I carry them around with me.
And if I get sucked down another bravo rabbit hole I'm doomed.
Friend boy's mom is in the needle and thread business, and I love her, and she loves me, so someday I too will be a top chef master.

We watched it tonight,
Then friend boy had to go to the theatre to turn something on,
at 10pm.
That's how we roll the bobbins around here.
He's designing the sound for the next prime time, but on a system he's never worked with before.
And that's where I get lost.
Lost in the headphones and scratch paper thats confettied the office.

I have to get eight red clown noses for tomorrow.

He's started to collect drawers, so perfect.
Like that candy crust that hardens on the tops of fresh brownies, perfect, still warm.
He has many projects, they get on the floor, they stay on the floor.
When I clean them up, things get lost, I disperse, like the jews.
Thus, his collection of drawers.
I'm not kidding.
Honey, check out this pink file cabinet I got for two dollars at the brown elephant!
So, when I'm straightening up I'll just put everything in here!

Honey, I need a rubber chicken, a sharpie, and a flash drive.
Drawer 3 from the top.

Some double Decker stainless steel's appeared last weekend.
Lifetime together.

This time always gets me cause I'm a sap.
You know the time,
The tech time.
It's like water breaking.
Like how on Tuesday during home show rehearsal,
The balls brides were on the other side of us painting flats,
And jughead was in the kitchen building his fountain,
And there's a box of posters in the office.
Love posters.
Love a good poster.

Lindsay is a free woman,
that was quick.

Tech time at the Academy was blindingly awesome, a chariot on your tongue.

Don't really remember tech time in Dekalb.
Only the lights-

Of Laramie-


And the web of incest that chain smoked other people's butts/and huddled against the cute girl/me/ in vintage coats/and crayon hair/said they were going to McDonalds/but really ditching you to go buy hard drugs from a dark Attic/but finding you later to have their way with you before you took your skirt off/hard to eat/ pray/ love/ your way out of that one/

Thank you now of now. I knew you'd like me. Julia Roberts is a vision.

Young president/Even younger theatre company,
Skin and Toast

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Paperless Wads,

I have to say, the b-b-q's can be tuff.
Chicago yards equal tight spaces, I like tightness, but I also need a way out, if there's no way out, there's no way.
It was going well until the woman with the monosyllabic last name and the fat eyes was suddenly facing me, looking right through me like I was a television.
She's worse then the bald guy.
Just when I think I can handle it, I can't.
I hate naked children.
Little boys with their shirts off make me want to die.
Ridiculous isn't it?
I'm supposed to be the one who prays, who for gives it all to something higher.
I don't know-
How to sit in the grass and eat a brat.
I don't know how to forget.
How to understand that it's something else entirely, clearly.
Clearly ten centuries ago in a pit of snakes.
I guess knowing is half the battle,
But, if you're the only one with a weapon,
It seems fruitless to fight,
Try the cantaloupe,
Next time.
That might sit better.
But, points for trying,
Half credit for bringing a present and a six pack to share.
Gold star for slipping out before you caused a scene,
A climax in the last act scene with ribbons and masks.
You have your friend boy,
Your three girls,
And your mentor.
That's rich.
You don't get lots and lots of teams of tribes.
That's not how it works.
So, know that.
That you don't ever have to be her friend and call her on her phone.
But, you can't hate her.
You can't cancel plans because of her.
You must exist together on the same planet, without violence, and able to aid in times of need.
You like equality.
Over and out,
Skin and Toast

Friday, August 6, 2010

Knee Deep in Stencils

Dear Linda,

Your birthday was the other day wasn't it?

I forgot. Then I remembered. Then I didn't feel anything at all.

There's a new veil between us isn't there?

There used to be a string, it was too long, and too tangled; but you were on one side and I was on the other. And for a while that was something, we had at least full range of motion, we could let go, and run, and fly to opposite ends, and use our hands to see how our faces had changed, and then lunge to re-claim our respective places on the line.

Well, that's unraveled now hasn't it?

Now we're stuck with these veils, like the kind you wear when you're catching bees, or avoiding bees to catch bee's honey, I don't know I've never done that.

And in this sea of gauze we've gotten turned around, there's no more direct flight, only infinite distance, and the monotonous buzz of a queen and her army.

Well, at least I always knew I was loved. Just like Chelsea Clinton always knew she was loved, just like that.

Happy Birthday,
Skin and Toast

P.S. How old are you anyway? Hmmm, you were forty when you had me, now I'm twenty eight, anybody got a calculator? Fetal alcohol syndrome is a bitch.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dear Poppy Seeds,

You know, going to the financial aid office is exactly like going to the psychiatrist. You say two words, you hand them some papers that will never make any sense, they swivel around to their computer screen, they look something up in a huge binder on a tall shelf, ask you some personnel questions they should already know the answer to. And then the situation is totally fixed, well, for now, hard to believe considering they had their back to you the whole time. Then you go down another hallway to talk to the person who really understands you, but who can't really fix anything at the moment, but promises he will, just hang in there.
Then life finds you soaking wet in the parking lot, and friend boy is sleeping soundly in the four door civic. "Hi".
And those charcoal chicken delights taste so good in a storm.
~Skin and Toast