Every week I drag myself to acupuncture and fall asleep in a dim, warm room for half an hour with needles sticking out of my legs, arms and head. Afterward, I walk to Ivar’s on 15th and wait for a cab to bring me home. I never buy anything, but I usually use the restroom. Last week, I arrived at Ivar’s to locked doors and a note explaining that they’d closed forever. A few older patrons stood at the other entrance, reading the note to each other, looking sad. 

This photo is for you, closed Ivar’s. I’ll miss your cozy bathroom and hand washing stool. 

This is all I want for my 30th birthday, okay? 

This is all I want for my 30th birthday, okay? 

As it Should Be

Most days, I am Marla Hooch, serenading the Internet with It Had To Be You over the din of the crowd at the Suds Bucket, drunk on the promise of love or maybe just some dog photos.

42 years ago my mama interviewed Gloria Steinem for Pandora, a little feminist newspaper she edited here in Seattle. 30 years later, I asked for Gloria’s autograph back stage before a panel discussion at Smith College. Both of my mothers were by my side. In return, Gloria asked for ours, explaining that it just wouldn’t be fair for us not to exchange signatures. Happy 80th birthday, Ms. Steinem. Your voice echoes through our home. 

P.S. Thanks for teaching me that feminists can have elegantly manicured fingernails.

Let’s all pause for a minute tonight and watch these French cows enjoy an impromptu Dixieland jazz concert, shall we?

One year ago I looked like this. Today, I look like this. In between were two hospital stays, too many medications to count, steroids, enough pain medication to kill several large mammals, and lovely friends and family by my side. A year out of surgery I’m living with a little over a foot less of my guts and an inflammation rate lower than it has been in 12 years. While each day brings different autoimmune-related challenges, I have to remind myself of where I’ve been. Thanks for coming along with me, buddies. 

“I understand the gravity of a train from the empty space and warm afterbirth air of recent loss which I encounter when I run down to the platform 30 seconds too late.
It is the same with all things of such weight - to know them best when you have just missed them.”