RoseMarie Navarra writes about the only thing she really knows: her own experience, her own truth, believing that universals can be found in the particulars of one life, and hoping that holds interest.

Featured Writer - RoseMarie Navarra

Four Months on the Couch

128px Steve Nash Andre MillerWe sit and talk and laugh, he at one end of the sofa, I at the other, with cups, saucers, fruits and cakes covering the glass-topped coffee table and music pouring from CDs on the dining-room player. The TV, without sound, is showing the Lakers and the Suns in their third playoff game. Paul Simon sings; John Coltrane plays - background music, underscoring the Lakers and Suns moving balletically back and forth on the court - to Chopin now.

I say, “ Horowitz should see his Chopin being used to accompany these seven-foot giants in a basketball ballet, passing and leaping and layups and slam-dunks.

He laughs, looks at me. “How could it be, thirty years later, we could meet again and connect like this?  Who could have predicted this?”

Before I can answer, he yells “Yes, Stevie! A three-pointer!”

Steve Nash, his eye swollen, his lip bleeding, smiling as the score moves up from his astonishing three-point jump shot, taken completely off balance; and this, after he had played his usual brilliant passing game.

“Our boy is so amazing!” I say.  (We’d never had children together, so we  decided to adopt Steve Nash as our incredible son – a harmless eccentricity of old age.)  “I think he takes after me,” I claim, “I was a pretty good shot in high school.”

“Maybe,” he says, “but he does have my blue eyes.”

And so we sat for four months – learning from each other what had happened during the thirty years since we had known each other when we were mere youngsters (in our forties),  psychologists at a college counseling center.  I look at him, a bit wrinkled, gray hair, thinner now, at 71, and still see the handsome man I knew thirty years ago.  He looks at me and can’t possibly be seeing me as I am.  He says I’m “gorgeous.”   But I know what he sees.  It’s impossible to look at each other now and not see each other as we were and as we are somehow blended into some version of us no one else sees.  It’s The Enchanted Cottage here in my living room, where we experience each other’s former beauty and strength as it blends with our much more developed senses of compassion, humor and wisdom.  

The basketball game over, we face each other. “It’s been four months,” I say to him.

“Yes, I know.  Four months—on the couch.”

“Four months is a long time to spend on a couch,” I say.

“True,” he says. “What are you suggesting?”

“Well, I know older people do move more slowly.”

“So I hear,” he says, smiling. “Are you telling me to put on some speed?”

“Well, not exactly, but even at my age, four months of foreplay is a bit excessive.”

“You are a shocking old dame, aren’t you?” He laughs.

“Yes, a shameless hussy.  I admit it.”

“And I do love a hussy,” he says.

Ocean waves, music crescendo, fade to black.
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3280 Hits


Oh Miles, you stand before us, your grey jacket open
revealing the black skin of your bare chest
shimmering in stage light.
Your pink trumpet you hold at your side
fingernail tint matching your horn.
You wander slowly around the small HALF NOTE stage
looking for, feeling for, just the right place
where the beautiful riff lives.
You close your eyes, your right foot barely tapping
You look at your brothers behind you
your back to us.
You nod at the bass player’s solo
Your foot keeps time with the piano
You lift your horn, look once at us, then off you go
 to…oh, we don’t know the way
We can go only where you take us—
Where only you can go –
To a moment so beautiful it hurts
To a pain so deep there is no bottom
To a question: where is love
To a plea: come with me to my loneliness
To a hope: know me
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3504 Hits

Shopping in New Paltz

It’s a sweet little village with mountains in view
There are bistros, and cafès, and much you can do.
You can climb up a mountain, swim in a lake,
See an eagle, an egret, a bear and a snake.
The Sincere Pumpkin Patch you will find here,
And leaves in the autumn are beyond compare
We have writers and actors and artists galore
But one thing we don’t have is a General Store.
You can’t get a curtain, a teapot, a blind,
And umbrellas and beach balls you never will find.
No pocketbook, wallet, no change purse, no hat,
No nightgown, no bathrobe, no baseball, no bat,
Not a high chair, a beach chair, a bench or a stool,
Not a towel, a sheet, colored thread on a spool.
No sticker, no sweater, no glove for the snow,
No bedspread, no pillow, no trumpet to blow.
Not a fabric, a scissors, a pattern for fitting,
A doghouse, a bird house, or needles for knitting.
No cloth for your table, no bra and no stocking,
No curtain rod, bath mat, nor chair made for rocking,
If you’re troubled, we have sixty therapists here,
But you can’t buy a clothespin in New Paltz—nowhere.
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I can't help but wonder if there is a link between no sundries and the need for all that therapy. Also: no decent pickles!... Read More
Thursday, 16 April 2015 16:34
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