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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

coming clean


There are handfuls of parables floating around the world, about knowing yourself. They fit neatly on a t-shirt or a coffee mug, maybe a meme superimposed over an image of a dark pool of water with one drop in it. The question, "Can man know anything, really?" it has been reduced to a parlor trick. Post-truth, the answers are all custom-fit.

I find myself thinking of the days when we had a rotary phone, and a party line. Waiting for the neighbors to be done talking and eavesdropping a little each time I lift the receiver. The tv was black and white, small in a corner of the living room. We only got one channel, so it was either on or off. I had to be told that the Incredible Hulk was green - to me he was gray.

Waking up feeling lost has become familiar. I'm not going to live in a tree or anything, but I feel like putting distance between the fire hydrant of news bytes and the rest of the world. There is actually an entire world out there beyond screens and paranoia, past the latest tragedy and the next one. I am beginning to take comfort in the fact that I know less than I would like to. It feels good to come clean.

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