I would so hit that right now. (Photo by Phil Roeder on Flickr.)

It’s an ugh day— steamy here in NYC, air so thick you could cut it (or slather it all over you like swampy lotion). I have a blister on my foot that’s screaming and I had to run an errand and then the person didn’t show up and traffic on that block was awful and everyone was leaning on their horns and WAH, WAH. So I trudged home with my stinging blister and I cracked open a beer in the middle of the afternoon, because I’m allowed, even though I try not to do it very often, and I parked myself in front of the air conditioner, and now I’m basking in the silence and the positive physical stimuli and my rage is rinsing off me, I can see it, like dirt on the floor of the shower beginning its swirl down the drain.


“Ugggh.” “Ahhhh.” These guttural noises, these primal sounds, that say so much, that perfectly encapsulate what we mean even when so many more sophisticated sounds are available to us.

Liz Lemon preferred “blergh.” Cathy chose “Ack.” Ali, age 5, employs “uck,” whenever a food or experience is not to her liking. It says it all.

We’re animals after all, even here in New York City, with our $5 cold brews and children decked out in $50 chambray shorts, terrorizing pedestrians on their scooters.

Ali and I were recently in Maine, and as we sat painting in my parents’ backyard she started painting herself, and I thought, “Why not?”, and soon she was covered in the soupy grey-green you get when you mix all the colors together. “You look like a Wild Thing,” I told her, and she loved that; “You be Max,” she told me, and so I was, and as we played, it felt so innocent and pure, being in the out of doors with her this way, letting her be crazy.

I teach her rules, but really, deep down, I am more interested in what she can teach me, about this raw living, this ability to be fully present in the moment.

I am trying to have faith, trying to let go of my conditioned urge to script the future even as the present is still unfolding, trying to listen to what I want instead of what I fear. She’s my spirit animal.

I pull up a corporate job description: “Ugh.”

I write: “Ahhh.”


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