Are you on the Sorbet list?

You can join the thousands who get a weekly sorbet by signing up on the “Contact” page of this website. You’ve made it this far, why not commit? The sorbet list is a completely private list that is never shared and comes out roughly once a week, usually at the end of the week.

Here’s a sample of a sorbet from a while back:


Imagine this, for a moment. Close your eyes and conjure a man who is a writer. A gangly man, unshaven for days at a time, thinning hair, prone to whisky. He is sitting out back in the garden beside the Siberian irises grappling with a problem. He is trying to describe what it is to miss someone, a lot. How it feels. How much it feels. Essentially, he is trying to quantify a feeling, which is futile and stupid. He started with a description of a man with very long arms who is stretching them out at 9 and 3 o’clock – trying to show how much he will miss his friend. His arms are like the unpredictable branches of an oak tree, or like an awkward and massive airplane, or like an auk. Not a Great Auk, because they’re extinct. Maybe a Lesser Auk. Except, he’s not sure Lesser Auks have big wingspans. He is only sure when they stretch their wings to fly they are so earnest it hurts. Auks get extra points for looking as if they shouldn’t be able to fly and then, surprise! Maybe this man grunts with exertion as he stretches, as he pushes missing to the tips of his fingers. He is determined to make the biggest stretch he has ever made. He imagines looking into her eyes and asking – Do you want to know how much I am going to miss you? She might watch him – with no small amount of suspicion and confusion – as he stretches out his arms. And when she does not say anything, he will say – This much.

The woman is silent because she is imagining herself in a library, sitting at a long wooden table that has four green-glassed bankers lamps, looking up the wingspan of an auk just to see how much she is loved. She will find out that an auk can fly not only through the air, but also under water. Lesser Auks, or Razorbills, she reads, are primarily black with a white underside. The male and female are identical in plumage, except males are usually larger than females. This an agile bird that is capable of both flight and diving, but is mostly aquatic and only comes to land in order to breed. Lesser Auks are monogamous, choosing one partner for life. They nest along coastal cliffs in enclosed or slightly exposed crevices and females lay one egg per year. The wing length of adult Lesser Auks ranges from 24.8 to 26.8 inches. When the bird stands up, it can be about 16 or 17 inches tall. Of course, he already knew this, she thinks. He probably saw it on one of those nature documentaries – not the Attenborough ones – the obscure ones he watches late into the night, while the complexities of the relationships between airplanes and wingspans and missing keep him from the easy sleeps. She has not watched these same documentaries, as she is too busy watching MTV reality shows and wondering, what happened to these people in their lives that they would choose to be on these shows? But she cannot stop watching, cannot turn her eyes away from the gaping expanse of reality, like watching a man with his awkward arms extended at the 9 and 3 position…and she thinks – I will miss him too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *