Kingston Times

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Anais Nin and me

Anais Nin and me

The novel’s voice was like my inner, truer voice – desiring similar things: connection, adventure, appreciation. But unlike me, Nin’s heroine engaged her will to satisfy desire, come what may. She conveyed fear, but also an ability to master it through risk, through action. This was bravery to me, and I wanted it.

The good old days

The good old days

Chapman Hotel was a bar in Schoharie County that you entered through someone’s living room. They served Genesee and kept an old jar of pickled eggs on the bar for those needing sustenance. Down the road was a trailer bar in what seemed to be a landfill, along with a combined bar, laundromat and bowling alley.

Mattress shopping

Mattress shopping

You try to carry the nervous system imprint from one unit to the next. You try to extrapolate eight hours, a third of your life spent pouring dreams, airs, and fevers into a quilted top platform with which you will eventually have as much in common, genetically, as your children. Everything seems to ride on this choice.

Now I just breathe

Now I just breathe

My grandchildren were recently here, and they were absolutely delighted when we ate dinner outside. They’ve been cooped up in a suburban condo in Connecticut for much of the pandemic. Their outdoor space is limited. “It feels good to be out,” my son, their father, explained. “It feels good to be anywhere new.”

Build better wings

Build better wings

Prepping for fatherhood in 1997, I finally felt deeply connected to humankind’s technological adolescence, a revolution that would engulf almost everyone I knew. During my wife’s pregnancy, I signed up for AOL. We acquired our first family cell phone and desktop Mac. When son Jack arrived in 1998, I was able to say, “Welcome to the future. The agency of the gods is ours.”

Perils of a librarian

Perils of a librarian

My first nine months as a library clerk pushed me to rewatch The Wire. I wanted to run diary entries from my work experience alongside notes taken while watching the classic series’ dark glimpse into the various systems by which modern cities live.

I have stories to tell

I have stories to tell

I’ve been discouraged. I have been writing for years, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few short stories published in various literary publications and websites, but I’ve not been so fortunate with my novels. Yes, there are several of them. How many? At last count, six. But I suffer from a genetic family disorder – an overreaction to rejection.

Reclaimed by Mother Nature

Reclaimed by Mother Nature

The presence on the Inca trail was sentient, and I was her guest, but I daresay she did not care about the “me” that stood there. At the same time, my soul connected to this presence. All of my other attributes did not – i.e. my will, my personality, my wrung-out body. This was a first for me. Occasionally, I cry trying to explain. It’s not sadness. I think it might be joy. But words don’t really suffice.

Life in the meat world

Life in the meat world

A little virus with a few unfortunate mutations in its recent past has laid bare the collectivism-whether-you-want-it-or-not that is more or less the contract of life in the meat world, the terms, the deal. “Life,” as the wild Scottish psychologist R.D. Laing said, “is a sexually transmitted disease.” “