Wednesday, August 31, 2022



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August 31, 2022





I am a blue freak.  I just love the color blue.  Blue-green is even better.  And of course AQUA is delicious!  My landscaper, Michele, has a great knowledge of many plants and therefore blessed me this year with many bluenies, as I like to call them, and I want to share them with you.  She told me the names of all of them, but damned if I can find that list.  Anyhow:


This one below left is aqua, which is very hard to find.

Above is a ceanothus aka Callifornia lilac.  This is an actual tree.  I have two ceanothus trees and one shrub, which is below.

My spectacular aqua hall, painted by the superlative Louise



(P.S.  I just discovered I've been spelling Bloggellinis wrong all this time!  Two g's AND 2 l's.)

I love me some lobelia, above, and an intensely blue house below, seen on a walk

Wednesday, August 24, 2022



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August 24, 2022

Don't Miss Elana Dykewomon's

Deeply Moving Play --

for Free until 8/25 @ 12pm!




Elana Dykewomon -- wonderful poet, novelist, teacher, editor of a literary journal, activist -- and finally PLAYWRIGHT! -- has been a pillar of the lesbian community for five decades.  Sadly, she died at the age of 72, on August 7, just 20 minutes before the premiere of her first play:


Above is a photo of Elana and her wife Susan Levinkind, who died in 2016 of dementia.  The play is about Elana's journey with her beloved Susan, whose exuberance for life is made visible in this photo. 

 CLICK HERE to read Elana's Obituary in the New York Times. 

I'm so happy The Paper of Record acknowledged the importance of Elana's life and work.  

I hope you watch HOW TO LET YOUR LOVER DIE, a ZOOM production by the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation -- WHICH IS FREE BEFORE 12PM TOMORROW!  I was so moved by it. It's very much an autobiographical story of Elana's experience dealing with her beloved Susan's dementia and dying. Does that sound depressing? It wasn't to me. It was powerful, moving, and even informative. And I'm someone who was completely totally freaked out by the possibility of dealing with dementia in myself or a loved one.  But after watching the play I feel differently.  I see it as part of the human experience.  Elana, in her honesty and great detail, humanizes what must have been a terrifying experience.


I'm hoping the link will work when you try it.  Right now, it isn't working.

I got a little confused attempting to follow the trail to the actual recording of the play. So I'm going to include all the instructions below.

Click "Buy.

Then, using the arrows under "ON-DEMAND TICKET," or your keyboard, enter "1."

After clicking "Add," use the "Next" button to get to the Checkout page.

Ensure that "Email" is selected under "Select a delivery method,” then click "Next" to advance to the next screen.

You will need to "Next" through two more screens before getting to the "Contact" page.

Fill this out with valid information and a working email address, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit "Next."

After "submitting" payment, check the email that was entered into the "Contact" form.

At the bottom of an email by "," there will be a teal box. Click this box to view a recording of How to Let Your Lover Die.

The link sent by The Playwrights Foundation will only be viable until August 25, 12 pm PT.

Elana was the editor of the lesbian literary quarterly, Sinister Wisdom, for seven years. Please CLICK HERE to join Sinister Wisdom for a celebration of the life and work of Elana Dykewomon on September 18. This link will also lead you to much more about Elana's life.  There's a list of the many obituaries.  There are also links to order her novels or books of poetry.

This celebration of Elana's life  on September 18 will be cohosted with Elana's lesbian cousin, Jennie Brier. At the celebration, friends and members of Dykewomon’s beloved community will read from her work and speak about her life. The chat will be open for all to share stories and memories.  T

All are invited to submit writing, art, and poetry that celebrates Elana. Send your tributes to Julie@SinisterWisdom

Dear Bloggelinis:  I was privileged to know Elana Dykewomon.  I met with her about her play when she first started working on it.   I was on a ZOOM panel of lesbian writers that she organized through Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC).   That was Elana -- always writing, always organizing, always giving to the community.  Damn it!  I wish she was still here.  We still need her!  Terry

Tuesday, August 23, 2022



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August 23, 2022

Trashing San Francisco's Trash Cans




People all over the world love to make fun of my quirky city, and San Francisco genially supplies them with material for laughter. The latest farce is San Francisco's search for the perfect trash receptacle for city streets.

The Guardian in England has a very amusiing article on the subject, from which I quote below. The three trash cans seen above are named (from left to right) Salt & Pepper (very obvious and cute), Slim Silhouette, and Soft Square. They are prototypes that were designed specifically to order for San Franciscio.  We are being mocked for the very high cost of these prototypes -- $11,000 to $21,000. I quote from the Guardian below:

"And finally, the bin behind the headlines: the $20,900 Soft Square, which is neither soft nor a square. The city describes this one as having a “recognizable trash can silhouette”, which does seem like something you want in a trash can. No one wants San Franciscans dropping their mail in these things or mistaking them for long-lost friends.

This is the only trash can that requires users to open it. There’s a pedal at the bottom so you don’t have to touch the handle; unfortunately, the pedal is so sleek and subtle that the Guardian reporter didn’t initially notice it 

and pulled the bin open by hand. Short on trash, the reporter placed a nearby leaf into the receptacle. Reopening it revealed that both the leaf and another piece of trash, placed earlier by someone else, remained stuck in the deposit slot, from which a fly lazily emerged.

As if to prove the slot was too small, a bag of trash sat on the ground next to the Soft Square, creating the very mess the cans are intended to eliminate.

Appearance: 5/10

Ease of use: 2/10

Overall: 3.5/10

To read the entire Guardian article, CLICK HERE.  I love writer Matthew Cantor's comments on the virtues of a trash can having "A recognizable trash can silhouette."   And his  "lazy fly" is so very evocative of my own encounters  with trash cans on the street.  

I was alerted to the Guardian's article this morning by a text from my oldest friend, Lady Dear.  And, by amazing coincidence, only a month ago,  I had encountered, in my wanderings through the city, a particularly pleasing trash can that I have been hoping to fit  into a blog.

So, tell me what you think, folks. I say:

Appearance: 10/10 -- at least! A nice little visual essay on life in the city.

Ease of Use: 10/10 -- that bag of trash would easily make it into this can.

Overall: 10/10. 

Now, THAT'S what I call a desirable trash can! 

I don't know if the artist was paid to create this little work of street art or did it solely out of love. But I believe this trash can adds a bit of delight to the day of anyone who walks by, and that's more than can be said for the snooty prototypes.

How about the city pays artists to paint beautiful trash cans?  That's one thing that SF has a HUGE surplus of -- energetic, talented, creative artists. Let's go with our strengths.  And artists are so used to working for nothing.  They'll be THRILLED to be paid decently to beautify trash cans.  Let's spend money on artists, not trash cans! 

Sound good?

Dear  Bloggelinis:  I believe everything should be beautiful -- trash cans, bus stops, underground MUNI stations, ugly blank walls.  I remember when I realized that anything in a city could be beautiful.  I was on the train in Italy in 1986, and we were coming into Rome.  We were passing all these warehouses -- painted in beautiful red/gold/ochre tones.  Gorgeous warehouses -- who ever heard of such a thing?  The Italians! It figures.  The Italians make everything beautiful -- even warehouses.  Terry

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Monday's Good Old Chron

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August 17, 2022

Monday's Good Old Chron




Ya gotta love the San Francisco Chronicle. They're finding good news everywhere. This is the headline on the FRONT PAGE on August 15, 2022 --

Healthy Traffic Jams!

Yes, the economy is rebounding! THAT'S what counts. Great news, even if it's killing the planet. 

Of course, the total shutdown in March 2020 was catastrophic to normal economic activity. But we could also FEEL the Earth breathing a sigh of relief.  

I have a dream of finding a 

middle way between total shutdown and "healthy" traffic  jams. I think a lot of people are dreaming that right now. There's talk of a four-day week. Not 10 hours a day. But truly working fewer hours for the same pay. I have a wonderful poster that says, "If only everyone just worked 3 days a week. the Earth would rejoice."

I really cannot imagine that. Three days a week. I can dream it but I can't imagine the reality. I CAN imagine getting rid or all insurance companies. I mean, what is the POINT of having this giant administrative structure so that you can rebuild your house if it burns down? Why can't the government just give you the money to rebuild your house? It would be a lot cheaper without the huge octopus middleman of insurance companies.  Are there any Bloggelinis who can tell me what we would lose if all the insurance companies disapppeared? 

I also can easily imagine a world without private passenger cars. We need great public transit everywhere and lots of taxis for those who cannot get on buses for whatever reason. A world of electric cars is not the answer. For one thing, it does nothing to alleviate traffic jams, healthy or sickening. Or parking issues. Or accidents. 

There is this widespread belief that people are born with the inalienable right to drive two tons of steel wherever they wish until they die.  The NYT Magazine has a column dubbed "The Ethicist" every week. I have loved The Ethicist.  I have been in awe of The Ethicist's wisdom -- until last Sunday. He was responding to a woman whose problem is her live-in mother-in-law.  The woman is concerned about her MIL's driving ability:

  •  The MIL drinks a LOT.
  • She is perhaps in the early stages of dementia. 
  • She has recently had several driving accidents that fortunately didn't injure anyone.
  • She actually had two strangers flag her down and drive her home because her behavior was so dangerous. 

And the Ethicist talks about trying to oh-so-gently convince MIL to give up her car keys. And if that fails? Well, says Mr. Ethicist, they did their best.  

The HELL they did their best! They need to confiscate her car keys the next time she goes to sleep.  And keep her locked in the house until then!

And if they don't and MIL kills someone with her two tons of steel, her son and daughter-in-law should be charged with being accessories to murder! And you should be charged too, Mr. oh-so-wise Ethicist! Your column gives you a responsibility!  In desperation, the daughter-in-law turned to you for advice and YOU BLEW IT!

Okay, okay. Finished with another one of my hopeless rants against Car Culture.  Back to the Chronicle. 

What you see below is Page Two of Monday's paper.  The recent terrible attack on the great writer Salman Rushdie brought to mind the bombing of Cody's bookstore in Berkeley right after Rushdie's book, The Satanic Verses, was published.  Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran, issued a fatwa in February 1989 ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie.  There were protests against the book throughout the world, including in front of Cody's, the largest and most important bookstore in Berkley.

From the Chronicle:

     Undeterred by the protests, Andy Ross, owner of Cody's, opted to keep "The Satanic Verses"  in stock, hoping to sidestep controversy if he kept it out of the front window display.  Then one night he got a phone call from the police, saying someone had thrown a firebomb into the store.  While nobody left a note or came forward later, Ross and investigators saw the bombings as retaliation for his decision to sell the book....

     No one was hurt, Ross said.  When he and his staff arrived to clean up the next day, they found an undetonated pipe bomb in the poetry section, and had to call a bomb squad to blow it up.

     "They said it would have killed everyone in the store," Ross recalled, his voice shaking.  "And this is the part where I get really choked up.  I told my staff, 'I don't know what you want to do.  This book is dangerous.'  So we took a vote.  And we voted unanimously to keep carrying the book. 

     He paused a beat.

     "And that was one of the highlights of my career.".....

     At some point, members of the Islamic student associations at UC Berkley came to Cody's and offered their condolences, making clear they did not support violence, Ross said.     

     Years later, Rushdie made a surprise appearance at Cody's.  He was still in hiding, so employees were notified only 15 minutes before he came in, Ross said.  They gave him a tour and showed him a crack in the drywall above the information desk, left from the 1989 bombings.  Someone had scrawled "Salman Rushdie Memorial Hole" near the indentation.

     Ross remembers the author's droll reaction. "Well," Rushdie said, "some people get statues and others get a hole. "

I tell this story to honor the bravery of the staff of Cody's and the  great panache of Salman Rushdie.  And now, 33 years after Cody's was bombed, an attacker, determined to carry out the Ayatollah's fatwa, has given Rushdie injuries called "life-changing" in the paper.

When I read "The Satanic Verses"  years ago, I could not understand how it could provoke such outrage.   Many  books have been written attacking Islam. But Rushdie's fantastical novel is not among them.  So why the fatwa?  I can only think that it was because he was very famous, because he came from a Moslem family, and because his novel had an irreverent attitude towards everything, including the Prophet Mohammed.   Perhaps irreverence is, in the end, more threatening than hatred.  Yes, now that I think about it, irreverence CERTAINLY is more threatening because it implies that the ideas of  Islam have no power over you anymore.  

So now Salman Rushdie lies in a hospital bed with terrible injuries.  According to one report, he's well enough to entertain his visitors with jokes.   What an amazing spirit this great writer has.  We see that spirit in his writing, in his visit to Cody's Bookstore,  and now in his hospital room.  To honor him, I'm going to reread "Midnight's Children,"  about the independence and partition of India.   

Dear Bloggelinis:  That's just the first two pages of one newspaper!  Can you imagine how much work I do every day trying to absorb the New York Times AND the San Francisco Chronicle?  I do it for my dear Bloggelinis -- and because I love it.   As ever your Blogmistress, Terry

Thursday, August 11, 2022



Dear Bloggelinis: I sent out these stories before. But the text wasn't easily readable because I was taking a shortcut and just using the pdf. My bad -- lazy Blogmistress! Now you can read these powerful stories without straining.

When I talked to other women about the idea of publishing Eve Goldberg's stories, two women who'd had abortions said that they had somehow been silent about their stories, even though they felt no shame. Telling the story of one's abortion is a political act. Every story told both personalizes and normalizes abortion.

Women get pregnant.
Therefore, women must have the right to abortion.
It's that simple.
Please contact the Whole Women's Health Alliance to donate or to find myriad volunteer opportunities for supporting a woman's right to abortion in these perilous post-Roe times.

Thank you, Donna, Linda, and especially Eve for these stories.

Zero Population Growth Starts Here

The following stories are true. The first two are the memories of friends – which I recorded and edited. The final story is my own. 
                — E.G.

When my aunt found out that Aaron was Jewish, she told me to move out of her house. It was 1951. I was working as a probation officer in Cleveland, Ohio. It was my first job after college. I had been dating Aaron, a reporter for the local paper, for about a year. 

After I left my aunt’s house, I rented a room on the second floor of a house nearby where I had my own bathroom and tiny kitchenette.

Then I missed my period. I had been using birth control, a cream called Norform, but my periods were usually very regular, so I was worried. I told Aaron about it and we went to see a doctor who was a friend of his. The doctor gave me a pregnancy test and it came back positive. 

So there I was. I was pregnant, unmarried, and 23.

In that time and place, my friends and family would have considered it shameful if I got pregnant without being married, and also shameful to get married just because I was pregnant. But more to the point, I just plain didn’t want to get married. I wasn’t ready for it. And I definitely didn’t want to have a baby — it was the furthest thing from my mind.  

So we asked Aaron’s doctor friend if he would do an abortion. “Oh, no!” he said. “I’d lose my license.” He did tell us, though, that if a psychiatrist vouched that an abortion was necessary for my mental health it could be done legally. 

I remember the psychiatrist vividly. He was tall and skinny and kind of bent over, and he and wore glasses with thick black rims. He listened while I told him the full story about my relationship with Aaron, that I’m pregnant, and not only did I not want to get married under the gun, I didn’t want a baby. Period. I told him that I didn’t think I could handle having a baby. I remember so well what happened next. This psychiatrist looked at me and said, “I think you can handle it.” And you know what? That’s when I really came into my own. Because it’s true, I probably could have “handled it.” But it wasn’t what I wanted. He didn’t give a flying fuck about me. It made me mad. Really mad.  That’s  when I knew I’d have to get an illegal abortion. 

So Aaron checked around and found a doctor who’d had his license revoked for giving abortions. We made an appointment and drove out to his house which was in a suburb of Cleveland. The street was lined with maple trees, and it was autumn so the trees were full and bright red. The doctor lived in a two-story white house with a deep front porch.

We knocked and the doctor let us in. He was a middle-aged man, probably about 50. There were a couple of chairs set up in the entry area where we sat, and the doctor asked me questions like: Why did I want an abortion? Was I sure about this decision? Things like that. I told him the truth. Aaron stayed in the entry area, while I followed the doctor into a room which might have once been a study. It was set up with one of those high examination tables and stirrups. I was way too nervous to really check it out. I was scared. I wasn’t scared about it being illegal, but I cared about my body. I didn’t want to be hurt or injured. I put my feet in those stirrups, and I remember feeling very vulnerable. I didn’t know what he was going to do. The details after that are a blur. Afterwards, the doctor told me to expect passing some blood clots within the next 24 hours, at which time the abortion would be complete.

The next day nothing happened, no blood clots. I called Aaron that night and told him that nothing was happening, I wasn’t passing anything. So he called the doctor and we went back the next day and he did a second abortion. I was feeling fine, so Aaron dropped me at the place where I was living and he went home. This time, though, I started to cramp and bleed — lots and lots of blood, for hours — so much that I got really scared.  I thought I was going to bleed to death. I felt isolated and afraid. Other than Aaron, I had nobody to talk to about it, nobody to turn to and ask questions. I frantically called Aaron and told him what was happening. He called his doctor friend — the one who did the pregnancy test.  

That doctor came immediately that night to my place. He examined me and gave me a shot and some medicine, it might have been antibiotics, I’m not sure. The profuse bleeding stopped, but I kept spotting for six weeks. I knew I’d better go see to a regular, legal doctor. I went to an ob-gyn. I was nervous about telling him that I’d had an abortion because I didn’t know if he’d report it to the police, or what. But I felt like my health and maybe my life was at stake, so I told him the truth. He examined me and told me I needed a D&C, which would clean out my uterus. He arranged for me to go to a hospital to have it done. 

So I had the D&C in the hospital, and that was finally it. 

The whole abortion ordeal definitely influenced my life.  To cut to the chase, after Aaron and I broke up, I married the next man I dated — Jack. I thought to myself: You sleep with him and you’re going to get pregnant again. Then what are you gonna do? I didn’t want another illegal abortion. And I was also thinking, I need to get married.  All my high school girlfriends were already married. I was the last one. I was 24. So we got married. I never regretted marrying Jack — he was a very sweet and decent person — but there was also that pressure I felt, it was definitely part of the picture. Jack and I had three children, and I was so relieved that they all came out healthy and whole.

For many years, I never told a single person about the abortion, not because I was ashamed but because it was socially frowned upon. The first person I ever told was my second husband, Frank. I fell in love with him, and I told him right away. I wanted him to know everything about me. I said, “I had an abortion.” And he said, “So?” 

That was the right guy for me.

I was living underground in New York City when I found out I was pregnant. It was 1970 and I was a member of Weatherman — a radical, anti-imperialist organization. Some of us, including me, were doing anti-war organizing on college campuses. Others of us were making bombs.

We all went underground because of the Townhouse Explosion. Some Weatherman members had been constructing a bomb in the basement of a Greenwich Village townhouse, when the bomb blew up. Three members of Weatherman were killed.  It was huge national news.  Right after that we all went underground. We realized we might be arrested for having an organizational association with the Townhouse Explosion. So we went underground to figure out what to do and to avoid arrest. 

We severed ties with family and friends, got false IDs, and began living under false names.

What I remember about living underground in New York was having a large set of keys with me at all times — keys to the apartments of supporters who were willing to let me crash and hide out at their place. Mobility was important because we never knew when the FBI would come around. I had been living like this for a month or two when I realized I was pregnant. I didn’t know who the father was. I had been in a monogamous relationship with Scott, but there was a “smash monogamy” campaign in Weatherman, so most of the couples had broken up. I didn’t have much sex after that, but I did sleep with someone other than Scott. 

The main thing I knew was that my life was not conducive to raising a child.  I was committed to being a revolutionary, to changing the world. So no matter what, I wasn’t going to have a baby.

I was trying to figure out how to get an abortion, which was illegal at that time, when I was arrested during an undercover FBI sting operation. I was charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines to incite a riot, the riot being the Days of Rage action we had organized in 1969 in Chicago. My parents bailed me out, but a condition of my release pending court was to live with my parents under house arrest. So I went back to their home in Fort Dodge, Iowa. I was 23 years old.

It was very intense to be arrested and pregnant. To be dealing with, oh my god if I don’t get an abortion I’ll have a baby and might be in prison and what would that mean? Would my mother raise this kid? On top of that, I was rebelling against my parents at that point, so it was psychologically very weird to be back at their house again. My parents were conservative Republicans and couldn’t comprehend my politics. They didn’t understand my lifestyle; collective living and not getting married were unheard of to them. Plus, here in Iowa I was isolated from all of my friends and comrades.  I felt a lot of pressure to get the abortion quickly because I knew I might go to prison, for how long I didn’t know. I felt really stressed out and alone. 

Immediately, I told my mom that I was pregnant. She was a very straight, middle-aged, middle-class woman. But she understood that I didn’t want to have a baby and that I couldn’t take care of one, so she was supportive of my decision to get an abortion. It was a big deal for her to say, “Sure, I’ll help you get an illegal abortion.”  We didn’t tell my dad.

Through my attorney I made arrangements to get an abortion while I was in Chicago for a court appearance. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere without one or both of my parents, so my mother and I flew to Chicago to go to court. After the hearing, she and I walked over to a nearby Woolworths. It was a hot, sticky summer day and I remember sweating through the nice blouse I’d put on for the court appearance.

We entered Woolworths together, and as my mom pretended to shop for thimbles and thread in the notions aisle, I went into the bathroom, then out the back door. A car driven by a man I had never met was waiting for me outside. The man told me to get in back. “Lie down on the seat,” he said. “Don’t get up or look up until I tell you.”

We started to drive through Chicago. With my head pressed sideways against the seat, I could see only light and dark shadows pass by the window. I began to worry. How would the abortion turn out? Would I go to jail or prison? Would I ever see my friends again? I was nervous because the abortion wouldn’t be in a doctor’s office or hospital, but on the other hand I had confidence in my attorney hooking me up with the right network of people to make this all happen.  But what if I was putting this network in danger? I knew that the FBI had been following me prior to my arrest, and I didn’t know if they still were. We had taken precautions to see that we weren’t being followed, but I really didn’t know for sure.  Lying silently on the back seat, my mind was a sea of stress and anxiety.

Finally the car stopped and the driver said I could get out. We were in a neighborhood of old, tall apartment buildings, brick and sandstone. I followed the man into one of the buildings, we went up to the second floor, and he knocked on an apartment door. A black woman in a turban answered. I followed her up many flights of stairs to another apartment where I met the doctor, a white man. This second apartment was completely empty except for the kitchen where an ordinary kitchen table had been modified with medical stirrups. I felt comforted because at least the room was clean and the doctor had on an immaculate white medical smock. He was kind and reassuring. I got up on the table and the doctor did the procedure right there.

After the abortion, we drove back to Woolworths. My mom was still inside, pretending to shop. How she managed to pull off the fake-shopping act for several hours, I don’t know. But there she was in her crisp navy dress with a blue and white scarf around her neck, carefully examining baseball gloves in the sporting goods aisle.

It was such a relief to get the abortion over with. And really what my mother did was quite amazing and brave, doing this clandestine errand with her daughter. We hugged briefly, not wanting to bring attention to ourselves. Then we took a taxi to the airport and flew back to Iowa.

I was pedaling my white ten-speed from our apartment in Santa Monica to UCLA when the nausea hit. By the time I reached campus, the feeling had subsided. The next day the nausea was worse, again occurring while I rode my bike to school. I thought maybe it was caused by the fumes from the trucks and buses and cars that passed. Or maybe it was stomach cancer. Eeks!

That day after class, I biked over to visit my mom at her job on campus. She had gone back to school after raising her kids and was now a post-doc fellow in neuroscience. I locked up my bike and took the elevator up to her lab. We chatted for a while, and then I mentioned the nausea. Without a pause, she said:

“Do you think you’re pregnant?”
Oh. That thought hadn’t crossed my mind. “I guess it’s possible.”
“Well, get yourself a test. Do you have a gynecologist?”
“Of course.” (I didn’t.)
“And let me know if you need anything.”
“Mom, please. David and I can take care of it.”
“I know you can, dear. I’m just offering.”
“Okay. I know. Thanks.”

Yup. Pregnant. I was 20 years old and it was 1974. David and I had been living together for less than a year. He was 29, an assistant professor in Anthropology, with sole custody of his 5-year-old daughter. The three of us lived in an apartment with a view of the ocean, green shag carpet (really!), and rent so low it’s embarrassing. Our life worked and we were basically happy. 
           “What do you want to do?” David asked. “I’m up for another child if you are. We could get married too…uh, if you want.” 

There was only one thought on my mind: How soon can I get the abortion?

The answer was two weeks. Two weeks of morning sickness which, it turns out, yields slightly to Saltine crackers and 7-Up.       

The funny thing is, I don’t remember the actual abortion. I have a memory of going to a doctor’s office in Westwood, and the doctor telling me that she was going to perform a Vacuum Aspiration. She said that I might have some cramping which would feel like menstrual cramps, but that the procedure would be essentially painless and short. My next true and clear memory is being in the passenger seat of David’s VW and saying, “I would really like to eat some meat.”

We drove to Zucky’s, an old-fashioned deli in Santa Monica, where I ordered bratwurst sausage and sauerkraut. I remember this because, while I wasn’t a true vegetarian and did eat fish once in a while, that was it. But this day, right after the abortion, I wanted meat. Like, really wanted it. Like a craving or a need. I wanted to eat something that bled. So we had lunch at Zucky’s and then we went home.

There was no coda to my abortion. No hemorrhaging. No infection. No guilt. If anything, it felt like an initiation. Like getting braces on your teeth in junior high — not something you want or wish for, but once you’re there it’s almost like joining a club. My friend Holly had had an abortion the year before, and just a few months prior to mine I had accompanied my friend Cristina to get one. It was a safe, legal, minor medical procedure. And it saved me from adding more children into a world which I believed already had plenty.

** This essay is dedicated to Norma McCorvey—aka Jane Roe; to the Jane Collective, which from 1969-1973 helped women in the Chicago area get illegal abortions; and to my cousin Katherine Morrison, ob-gyn extraordinaire, who has risked her life and livelihood to provide low-cost, full-choice health care options for women.

Please contact the Whole Women's Health Alliance to donate or to find myriad volunteer opportunities for supporting a woman's right to abortion in these perilous post-Roe times.

Dear Bloggelinis: I hope you were as drawn in as I was. The difference between the first two stories, when abortion was illegal, and the last one -- HUGE!

I think the situation of the middle-class Republican mother, pretending to shop in Woolworth's for hours while her Weatherman daughter gets an illegal abortion, would make a great monolog. I love that she was carefully examining baseball gloves by the time her daughter returned.

Again, thank you, Donna, Linda and especially Eve for these stories! Terry