Today I attended a Lutheran service at the church down the road. 9 AM, traditional worship. Pastor in a vestment, all that. I went because we have to do a "ritual analysis" for my Study of Theatre class. In other words, we have to attend some sort of non-theatre ritualistic event and then deconstruct it as if it were a piece of theatre.
Before the service, there were some representatives out ... Continue Reading
I slam shut the door, and now I am honestly, truly, in a cube. The transition is very easy for any interested: open door equals cubicle, closed door equals cube. The air feels heavy with the door closed, as if no oxygen can enter or escape, and it seems that eventually you’re going to choke on your own breath, which barely hisses out, and every action that you seem fit to perform is a stepping s ... Continue Reading
So your birthday was yesterday. It was a Sunday.
You would have liked that, I think. We could have spent Saturday night at the top of our lungs, and someone would have had to hold my hair back when I relived it all a couple of hours later. We'd probably have it at someone's house somewhere, filling a basement up with people I barely know and turning up the amps when anyone picked up a guitar. ... Continue Reading
Reading about Russian security policy in Central Asia, I am perched intently on the bench outside a pleasant left-leaning think tank. An old man dressed in a 1970s tweed monstrosity huffs and puffs his way onto the bench. I take my earphones out of my ears to greet him politely but distantly. He says that he's 92 and has foot trouble, to which I offer some elevator-worthy pleasantries.
Befor ... Continue Reading
Sheila and I read the instructions carefully in the kitchen, hunched over the counter. Neither of us had done this before, so we analyzed and intellectualized everything. We’d never had to do this. With the decision to have a child behind us–not to mention a few dozen rounds of baby-making–we figured then to be a good a time as any to learn how to use a pregnancy test. It seemed simple, but, a ... Continue Reading
We were heading north on 295, our headlights pointing the way home from Washington, D.C. There was the lingering stench of cigarettes, stale beer, and faint BO—classic eau du concert. It was pervasive, that combination of darkness and smell. Granted, the latter had lost some of its initial potency, partly because I’d gotten used to it, mostly because I was too tired and too congested to be conc ... Continue Reading
It was the smell that hit you about halfway down the steps: the cloying, sweet sickness of musty curios, mildewed walls, and particles of dust too heavy with moisture to dance in the dull light provided by a dozen or so fluorescent tubes. It was an earthy smell of decay, the kind one comes to expect from an old garage, a dilapidated tool shed, or, as was currently the case, from a basement. Spec ... Continue Reading
People sleep on Ketch's couches. That's just the kind of guy he is--an easygoing dope fiend with some extra living space, always willing to lend a couch to whoever comes around. You can keep your bicycle in his hallway and live off ramen noodles until things start looking up. You can borrow some of his narcolepsy meds and spend the whole week passed out on the mustard-colored sofa, only waking up ... Continue Reading
My great-uncle John wants to get all the Santas done by July.
He explained this to me on my very first afternoon, and he’s repeated himself several times since then, usually whenever I get up to refill Dixie cups for our paintbrushes. He always starts muttering our projected work schedule like it’s military intelligence, or something from the church bulletin.
“Santas through June, then ... Continue Reading