Strange Gate

2 years ago with 8 comments in Uncategorized
I don’t like disagreeing with people. I tend to do it badly. Either I’m silent when I should be vocal, which makes people assume I agree with them when I don’t, or I rip somebody’s head off about something that doesn’t matter at all, like the other night when I badly hurt a dear friend’s feelings during what was supposed to be a lighthearted argument about ...

At the Keyboard

3 years ago with 16 comments in Uncategorized
My seven-year-old niece is learning to play the piano, and I am her teacher. The first few lessons were all uphill, until she discovered that what she thought was an imposition could instead be a challenge. Now I watch her face for the expression that means she’s found the live wire, the current: she’s caught hold of something she wants to know, and is riding that wave until she ...

Like That

3 years ago with 27 comments in Uncategorized
“I remember,” I told my little brother on my last visit home, “when I realized that dressing fashionably wasn’t a betrayal of Gershom principles.” I don’t mean my mother dressed me in flour sacks, growing up, or that there was ever a firm, spoken injunction against trying to look like we fit in anywhere. But aren’t unspoken rules the strongest kind? ...

Sal

5 years ago with 1 comment in Uncategorized
Sal and I see each other every year or two. He’s the last of the three men in college that I tried to attach myself to, but unlike with the other two, once the infatuation faded, I still wanted to be his friend. Sal is an extraordinary person — affectionate, compassionate, and profoundly unconventional. He led a life that, at the time, I considered extremely romantic: never ...