We considered Mabel housebroken, but as any good Buddhist—or new dog owner—knows, identity is a construct, subject to change. In other words, accidents happen, especially when no one’s watching.
When I ascended to the den, pliers in hand, to watch the Americans go down in Lillehammer, I knew I didn’t want to go out like them.
I want an example, a model for how to live independently, with the smallest bit of indifference and anonymity, without fear, for a while, for the summer.
It is rare in my experience that anyone can be both the center and circumference of a circle. How does Edith manage it?
I was 16 in 1994. I had a crush on a girl at my high school named Stacy. She was two years older — blonde hair, a grunge band on her t-shirt and a constant half-smile on her face — and it goes without saying that she had absolutely no interest in me.
Interviewed by Stacey Schmeidel for the Spring 1999 issue of Amherst Magazine, David Foster Wallace said, “The truth is I don’t think I’ve ever found anything as purely ‘moving’ as the end of The Velveteen Rabbit when I first read it.”
The place in the brain where language sucks meaning can seem like nirvana.
I grew up in a wealthy, Westside neighborhood and attended schools dreamt up by former hippies. The city’s racial metaphor for me felt like a pot of soup with a nice, chef salad, something casual and light and accompanied by a glass of iced tea.
Grandpa bought the place for cheap back in the sixties, a Communist blessing. Grandpa did good for high-ranking Reds. Black-and-white photographs of him with the Chairman hang where house guests will look.
I would have to try even harder to get back the silence, not for my own peace of mind but out of respect for the dead.
Entwined contemplations of author Chris Hedges (War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning) and former ad-man Bruce Bauman, and their respective relationships to this essay’s author (a ne’er-do-well novelist and ex-soldier)…
I was eighteen years old when my daughter, Belinda, was born—a kid having a kid. I didn’t see myself as a kid, of course. That understanding came later.
In New York City, in the spring of 1999, a story hit the newspapers of a Long Island woman who had given birth to twins–one white and one black. The woman and her husband were white and the black baby was not theirs…
“Bartleby” stages the terrible unworkability of faces, the equally terrible unknowability of our own.
We’re pouring concrete into holes created by IEDs—roadside bombs. The ground in Iraq is extremely hard. A landscaper’s nightmare, it’s not made for digging and planting. Most of the IEDs are set on the top of the ground.
This clothing, this changing of the clothes, is not at all like Superman.
These people make objects out of everyday things—not just because concrete and junk and chewing gum are cheap, but because they’re there. They work with what they know.
I take a breath and pop it into my mouth. At least she hasn’t tried to make me eat the fish eyes or chicken feet for sale in the night markets of Taipei.
Etching is the art that understands that the only way to reach knowledge is to suffer the opposite. Like the whalers on board Pequod, we must cross the line.
On June 1, Simon & Schuster/Touchstone released Living on the Edge of the World, an anthology of essays from New Jersey writers about their home state. The book includes original selections from Tom Perrotta (Little Children), Joshua Braff (The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green), Jonathan Ames (Wake Up, Sir!), and many more refugee and remaining Jersey scribes. This brief piece from the anthology is adapted from Christian Bauman’s new novel, In Hoboken (Melville House, March 2008).
The pennant wasn’t at stake, not, as I can best recollect, when
I awoke alone in my apartment in the eighth month of my marital
separation, glad about the sun and looking forward to being with
my two children again.
Warblers are not beefy like geese; a goose on your head gets irksome, compressing your neck; but a warbler could spend the week there undetected, like a cherry or a shilling.
Potatoes are dropped into a pan of steaming water. Turkey is layered with corn, tomatoes, rice, and cheese. I no longer know whose hands are mine.
It is gray and frigid outside. I have accomplished little at my desk. I have plans, when I return home, to draft an essay about love. So I want my walk around the lake to go quickly.