The one I love

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! I hope this greeting finds you well and in good spirits!

Actually, I can only hope it finds you at all. Please excuse my little joke, but I saw the “Sold” sign out in front of your house, and I don’t know where you moved, so I am hoping the USPS will forward this to you.

I really hate that we lost touch. Pretty much every time we ever talked, it felt to me like we were firing on all pistons, like we had just cleared a traffic jam and that there was nothing ahead but open road. You picked up on all my obtuse jokes and added to them as if they were your own. Our conversations were like an avalanche of agreements, comments that bore double and triple nuances shared with the confidence that every point would be captured and built upon.

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I was made to love magic

After suffering from a series of headaches that increased in severity over the course of a few months one summer, I took the old man to the hospital, and he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. They said he... Read More ›


It was a fascinating old house, cluttered with books and records and objects, dusty old furniture, display cases, wardrobes, upholstered chairs. As a boy, I found it endlessly fascinating. I don’t think too many people visited there. The old man... Read More ›

Coney Island baby

When I first started working in the dark arts, I was apprenticed, briefly, with a master of great skill but poor repute. Reluctant to compete for the attention of a mentor with a higher position in the community, I figured... Read More ›

Don’t start me to talkin’

I know you asked me to shut up about Neutral Milk Hotel. I know you don’t want to hear it. But you have to give me some credit; I’ve kept it to myself (for the most part) for a long... Read More ›

Life of crime

Back when I was a kid, I fell into a bad crowd. It was a bunch of guys who used to do “odd jobs” for cash, you know, “under the table.” We didn’t report any of that income. We didn’t... Read More ›

If you could read my mind

The man was a fraud, a charlatan! He was supposed to be a psychic, but, really, he used the same tricks all of the other supposed psychics use. It was actually kind of comical, obvious. He’d say, “Does the letter... Read More ›

How to disappear completely

This is why I hate time travel. I was listening to some music. I’m sure it was a band you’ve never heard of. I’m not going to mention what it was because it doesn’t make any difference. The album is... Read More ›

The sounds of silence

A little while back, I was telling you about a friend of mine who used to write novels, and I said something about the last time we spoke, and I think I made a reference to his last book, and... Read More ›

It’s only life

George Carlin had a bit in his 10th HBO special (“40 Years in Comedy,” 1997) where he recounted his experiences as a pet owner. The piece included a curious amount of helpful and accurate veterinary information regarding common ailments that... Read More ›