Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I saw you last night, on a bright winter afternoon, briskly walking in a denim pants suit with a matching color denim top - not tucked in. More tailored than is worn today. You were 35, my daughter, Celeste's's age in a few day, November 18, and you were as well fashioned as she. Maybe we were on South Beach the lower end with the tchotchke store fronts, or maybe a local strip mall. The day was sparkly sunny, you lively and lovely, brown hair bouncy walking a fast clip, your broad smile across your face. I saw saw as if passing by, next to or a few feet apart on wide walkway, your profile sideways, forward stepping and it was you, into my life again, as always.

Danny and his girl Jesi went to Key West for your yahrzeit. Your son tossed a rose, as he usually does. A rose settled atop of the sea, your ocean grave, floaty, regenerating. Perhaps you touched. On the actual day, October 19, Miguel and Celeste visited. I was so very happy they came over; grateful. It was a Wednesday, midweek, a candle on my fireplace. Miguel is a bundle, 7-years-old, born after you died but am trusting you have seen him, his brown eyes the shape and color of yours.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Infinite Jest

Hi Carole,

Read an article in The New Yorker (April 2011) about David Foster Wallace, relaying how despondent he became after completing Infinite Jest, even as I continue working on our manuscript. Have changed it some, adding parallel universes to reach you. A fine report by Jonathan Franzen, had not read him previously, the mood he captured! Have a print out of Wallace’s Wiggle Room published in the same magazine. Bought his uncompleted The Pale King from Border’s closing, can you imagine that icon shutting down? Our Borders!!

Anyway, you were dressed and heavily face painted like a Jester, perhaps from the title book, and you were happy, living a run down place. I must rekey the following, grrrr, cannot type, actually Curt did it for me. I so relate to what JF wrote:

“…That he was blocked with his work when he decided to quit Nardil — was bored with his old tricks and unable to muster enough excitement about his new novel to find a way forward with it — is not inconsequential. He’d loved writing fiction, “Infinite Jest” in particular, and he’d been very explicit, in our many discussions of the purpose of novels, about his belief that fiction is a solution, the best solution, to the problem of existential solitude….”

Justly so.

Love, Hope

Friday, July 29, 2011

House cleaning

Carole, so ordinary and simple, we were together, you showing me how to change the vacuum cleaner bag, we with our chatter above the roar, or maybe silence. The bag was designed with a single wide spiral twist off, more resembling a space image from the Hubble spacecraft, the one of a spiraling universe, minus the colors, the vacuum part a dull plastic beige but similar in its swirling shape. How I miss you you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Larger than Life

Today, Valentine's Day, we squeezed and squeezed .... somehow a wheelchair that you surely didn't need, so vibrant, hugging and hugging ... 3, am not sure what the folded wheelchair symbolized ...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gold Encrusted

8 AM, January 18, 2011.

Mocha was barking to be let back in and I finally arose from bed yet it wasn’t my house I was in. The hallway was painted blue directly across from my bedroom door, blue like the sea as children would color it. I saw two different doggies in the house in separate bedrooms, they were not mine. Then I saw movement in the closet, a wiggle under something and you emerged from underneath blankets or silk sheets and you were beautiful as if costumed for a play, a harlequin of glittering golden powdered seashells angled diagonally across your chin, up to the tip of your cheekbone, returning to your neck with a loosely strung ivory chiffon ribboned bow like a frilly boa necklace against your cotton shirt: a gift. Your body felt thin and lithe as if seventeen-years-old. I pulled you into the light pouring from the window, the sunlight streaming on you, validating your presence, and we held each other, cradled in arms, I kissed your lips and we stood and stood and stood and I kept asking you, staring at you, to make sure it was you with the sunlight against your face highlighting the shell glitter sparking even as your eyes focused over my shoulder, non committal.

From those ashes scattered in Key West into my arms, a radiant youthful you bathed in sunlight on a new dawning day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011. Happy Birthday Carole, we're still going strong, together.

Creative non-fiction, circa mid-1990's, a work in progress my sister and I began, but could not finish together. Please note, apparently meta links to IMC and HCA change the formatting and I can't figure it out. Still relevant today, in Florida, the beat goes on.

Excerpt from Three Attention Deficit Sisters and the Mafia

by Hope Marcus and Carole Marcus

“I don’t know yet, but it’s more than gobbledygook. Think manna from the farm into my arms. Passports, receipts from Panamanian companies, DynCorp, Florida medical clinics — HMO’s, some guy’s Florida driver’s license, still valid.”

I picked up a piece of paper, held it on the edge. “Absolutely nasty, pitch them. They even smell moldy.”

“Leslie, look at them, open your eyes!”

“Look at what? There’s nothing to see! You and your trash treasures.”

Carolee’s hands went to work, rearranging the pieces, making a jigsaw puzzle with parts missing. Torn squares, rectangles, jagged edges, a few legible words and a smattering of numbers. Two airline tickets, Miami to Mexico, Mexico to Miami, Aeromexico, sections of them, enough to tell. An ID card from an HMO. Photos angled from the side, the front, plus a passport. Another social security card. Different numbers, the same name — doubles in Spanish.

My sister turned to me, her eyes wide orbs. I didn’t know what to make of things.

Holy moley, can’t you see? For the past twenty-one years I’ve been staring across the table at Lou, reading his newspapers, the Miami Herald delivered to our door. Medicare fraud, think IMC and all those clinics, even the newest, HCA. Just you wait. And tickets to Mexico, next stop Columbia, to buy what? Hello Leslie, wake up. These names are headliners!”

Front pages? I nearly drowned on a diet soda, ran to the kitchen sink, choking. Carolee trailed after me.

“You’re so off base, if you think for one lousy minute I’m falling for this, you don’t expect me to believe … .” My sister threw me one of her primal stares, like a guided missile homing in, smart bombs aiming straight for me, her eyes converging into one enormous penetrable, oy ve mia, hallelujah sister.

“You’ve got balls, cojones.” I said.

She pulled her shoulders back, stuck out her chest and strutted out of the kitchen, back to the couch spread with her finds. “I’ve got boobs, potency, and these," she said, pointing to the papers. "Chutzpah, cojones, and these!"