It was one of those instances in which someone says, “I told you so,” and you aren’t even mad. They did tell you so. It was one of those sudden, disastrous events, after which someone huffily snaps their arms akimbo and goes, “See??” and you do see. This one’s on you.
Last weekend, my boyfriend Ashton and I drove up to visit my grandparents in southern New Hampshire. We spent a few days working through a few To Do lists, helping out able-bodiedly with the house- and yard-work that come with the changing of seasons—in this case a shift from breezy early summer to face-melting mid-July.
I was shuffling around the front yard in flip-flops, watering plants and weeding.
“Take off your chanclas and put some shoes on,” Ashton tsked, climbing off the riding mower while I knelt in the wild strawberry pulling crabgrass.
“Oh, I’m fine,” I answered, insouciant.
A few minutes later, crabgrass pulled and my flip-flops already far from my mind, I took up the task of moving six forty-pound bags of potting soil into a small metal trailer. I’m fine, I’d said. keep reading >>>
Two weeks ago I lost the top button of my pants in a urinal in Grand Central Terminal.
When I say “my pants” I mean my favorite pants, black chinos. Have you ever had a pair of pants that seemed to you like no other pair ever factory-assembled? That you put on and thought, Damn, whose ass is that? These were those pants. My Pants. They were rare and wonderful, and all the right shapes. Never since have I been able to find anything even remotely as flattering—nor as ass-flattering. If I had I would have bought ten pair, invested my life’s savings into pantsing my future. But, alas, Urban Outfitters was sold out.
Truth be told, the button in question had been displaced for some time, having initially wriggled free over months of fastening and unfastening. I wore these pants almost every day for the two months after I bought them, and also I drink a lot of coffee. The button on these chinos was a little metal post, like a jeans button. Now it was gone, lost to a filthy, piss-drenched drain on 42nd Street.
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My younger sister has always been a real size queen about presents. Last Christmas I bought her a gift certificate to H&M, but I put it in a really big box. I taped the little gift-card holder to the bottom and filled it with crumpled newspaper and a heavy log. She saw the 20” x 24” situation and got pretty excited, shaking it every now and then for a week or two before the big day, trying to guess at just what on her wish list might be crinkling and clunking around in there.
Given the mysterious and inconclusive lead-up, the reveal was priceless. She mostly thought it was funny, but I watched her excitement turn to confusion, then dismay, and then excitement again, diminished this time, tinged with the disappointment of not having received something larger. Still, I thought $25 was pretty generous for a guy with no job.
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On the occasion of summer’s early weeks, my suburban hometown has hung an enormous banner above Main Street, touting itself as, quote, “A Bicycle Friendly Community.” Each time I drive by one of these, my editor-homunculus fights an urge to park, shimmy up the pole, and deface the sign with a hyphen—that is, in order to better facilitate “A Bicycle-Friendly Community.”
“A Bicycle Friendly Community” [sic]
Without a hyphen to unify “bicycle-friendly,” the word “bicycle” seems strangely without purpose. To proclaim this “A Friendly Community,” however banal, has perfect grammatical logic. Likewise, “A Bicycle Community” is straightforward, if awkward, but suggests some sort of bicycle commune.
Haaaallelujah! Haaaallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! And the Cherubim and Seraphim descended from on high and encircled the south portico of the White House, each one ablaze with Divine Love for President Barack Obama. Nine holy orders of angels alit in Michelle’s vegetable garden, and sang heavenly praises of partisan glory and social justice, for today, only three and a half years into this his most HOPE-ful presidency, Obama has supported gay marriage.
“I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” he told ABC News this afternoon. He did it. He used The M-Word.
President Obama, up to his chin in SPECIAL REPORTage.
This afternoon I read dozens of tweets that began, “BREAKING” or “BREAKING NEWS,” followed by this straightforward, if rather reserved, expression of support for gay marriage. Obama went on to describe an “evolution” (cue Intelligent Design outrage, panty-bunching) in his thinking on this issue since the 2008 presidential race.
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Every time I walk through Central Park I find something I had no idea was there. Two days ago it was Cleopatra’s Needle.
Rounding a corner just past Turtle Pond on the tail end of my jog, I noticed to my right an enormous stone obelisk. Hm, I thought. Obelisks have always seemed to me an odd sort of monument—more or less a tall, pointy rock—and I find them especially odd, if prevalent, in the West. Obelisks were initially monuments to the Egyptian sun god Ra. If art history taught me anything, it taught me that obelisks are Egyptian, until they’re something else.
Take, for example, the obelisk in Piazza San Pietro in the Vatican—moved out of Egypt to various cities by various Romans, the last of whom was Pope Sixtus V, in 1586. Nearly a century later, Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the Piazza in front of St. Peter’s Basilica with the obelisk as its centerpiece. Four bronze lions were added to the base, as well as a few requisite festoons, and a cross was placed on top, containing a fragment of the True Cross. Top to bottom, what began as a wholly pagan monument has been cloaked in Christianity. Voilà! Instant Relic.
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Just add Jesus.