Two Takes

by | Feb 3, 2023


I’m having a glass of Revelry Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State. I like guys who guzzle. I like girls who Big Gulp.
There is a tendency when on one’s public phone to complain, enough so that others might hear you.
I just got called Mr. Nosey by my simpering neighbors.
I’m at Vino Vollo, adding up the costs of misfortunes.
I hope the soccer world champs had time to party between all of their social commitments. I hope they had time to imbibe some Hot Lava.
I’m listening to the B-52s and feel like writhing on the floor.


I want to say, the kindness of strangers I met in the Cru Wine Bar (Denver airport): Steffie first, a deep connection. She wondered if we knew one another in a past life. Then Carolyn, lives in Helena, Montana, recently moved back. She’s in hospice. A little cool, distant, but she lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years, so there’s that. And then the Scottish fellow, Shane, headed to San Diego. A family guy; dog and cats. Super smile. Suddenly a band of yoga retreat women toward the end, and it all flew South. Downward dog.


  1. Dominique Christina

    Ohhhhh yeah. I love this. Snapshot images. The flicker and whirl of them. And you are alive and visible here, in the writing. You describe experiences and strangers but your view of them gives us a view into you. What you cherish. What you appreciate. What catches your attention and keeps it. I really love this. Crisp and clear and playful. “Guys that guzzle and girls that Big Gulp.” Yep. I’m here for it all. ♥️

  2. Len Kuntz


    You are the king of quirk and this piece is maybe your quirkiest, which I found fascinating. In reading it over several times, new things pop out which each review.
    You have such precise details–names, places, types of wines– and then there’s “adding up the costs of misfortunate” which is such an incredible tag on it’s own, but especially paired with, “I’m Vino Vollo.”
    Holy Hell.
    And those last two words.
    Holy Hell again.
    Plus the “hospice” bit.
    Plus, plus, plus…

  3. jennifer vanderheyden

    King of Quirk…love that! The POV is so clever….writing those hilarious details to whom? I feel like I’m there drinking wine as well, spying on the journal. Take a drink, write a note. Talk to Steffie, write a note. My favorite line in addition to “Downward dog”: “so there’s that” This is perfect, and it feels strange to comment on your work!

  4. Sheree Shatsky

    Second on Downward Dog! Though “and it all flew South”, the sound and the image of the women, yes, now in my head for the rest of the day. I also enjoyed B-52s nod to the Denver airport bar, all looking for “the getaway”.

  5. Meg Tuite

    Roberto! haha! LOVE ‘guzzle’ and ‘Big Gulp’! ‘simpering neighbors’ ‘B52’s’ “writhing’ ‘past life’ ‘hospice’ and then the fucking Yoga band of women. YES to the ‘downward dog’! Hilarious and so much packed in to this beauty! LOVE IT!

  6. Koss (No Last Name)

    Hi Robert. Love also, “I like guys who guzzle. I like girls who Big Gulp.” The disassociative/list poem first part, and the way you sneak some vague logic into the second. Love also, the A. B. and kindness of strangers awkward construction. The way you lead us in and leave us out. You are a switch in the best of ways.

  7. Ryan Griffith

    Robert, I loved the playfulness of this piece, the guzzle and Big Gulp. You have a wonderful way of keeping your writing loose and inventive and surprising. Love it!

  8. Francine Witte

    This really is wonderfully quirky. I love the big gulp and of course adding up the cost of my misfortunes.
    Well done

  9. Julia Bouwsma

    Love the “guzzle” and “big gulp!” Love the “downward dog” ending! The way the narrator reveals so much about themself strictly through the way they observe others. The playing around the idea of “a deep connection” that serves as a sort of marionette wire connecting both vignettes.

Submit a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest