Wretched Machine

6 years ago with 7 comments in Uncategorized
A reader sent me part of this quotation from C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. Since it’s better than anything I’m likely to come up with tonight, I’ll pass it along. It’s been too long since I’ve read that book. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character ...

Shark Tank

7 years ago with 4 comments in Uncategorized
Welp, I managed to host another party. This one was to say goodbye to my apartment, since I’ll be moving out this Feb. I had TWENTY people over.1 I was planning to do the good host thing when each person came: take the coat, get them a drink, get them talking to somebody, then wait for the next one. Instead, since everybody was fashionably late by almost exactly the same amount of time, ...

Contact

7 years ago with 15 comments in Uncategorized
How do you talk to strangers? What are the rules? Nobody knows. I’m usually happy when a stranger speaks to me, and some strangers are happy when I speak to them, but everybody’s worried: will he think I’m weird? When I say Good morning, do I mumble or enunciate? How big is too big to smile at someone you don’t know? The other day at the gym I kept catching the eye of ...

Stage Fright

7 years ago with 7 comments in Uncategorized
I was having a great night out at the bar — I was with mostly men, a situation that would have once tied my tongue completely, but I was doing great! I left the booth to use the bathroom. I was so pleased with myself for being social, and relaxed, and non-awkward, and normal, that I congratulated myself in the mirror. Out loud. For being so normal. Then I heard the toilet behind me ...

Damn It Feels Good to be a Recluse

7 years ago with 19 comments in Uncategorized
I love being alone, and I hate it. Am I a natural introvert, or a thwarted extrovert? I spent all Sunday by myself. Some people would envy the pants off me for that — I’m thinking again of my married siblings. I know they love their kids and love spending time with them, but I know from my years as a teacher that being surrounded, all day long, by little people who need things, ...

The M Word

7 years ago with 40 comments in Uncategorized
It’s not pretty, folks, but you knew it was going to show up here sooner or later, right? I’m talking about — I really don’t like the word — the big M, solitary vice, M-A-S-T-U-R-B-A-T-I-O-N. Whew, that wasn’t so hard! Back when I was a wee lad, I glommed onto the fact that you didn’t have to say the word itself in confession. You just say “an ...

My Cup Sort Of Dribbleth Over

7 years ago with 6 comments in Uncategorized
One of the things I hate most about depression is not knowing what it means. Of course, it doesn’t have to mean anything: I’ve been short on sleep, my back hurts most of the time, and that means I can’t exercise, either. That’s a recipe for feeling crummy. The problem with being melancholy and overanalytical, of course, is that you’ve always got to figure it out. ...