Same River Twice (with apologies to Mr. Offutt)

Heraclitus was right. Nothing remains still. If we want change, we will not be disappointed because it will come. It’s coming now. I quit my job after my father died. And a funny thing happened to time. It slowed down and shifted and opened up in the middle. It didn’t fit into a grid the way it had for so long, starting with kindergarten. I no longer distinguished weekdays from weekends. Straight time from overtime. Street clothes from work clothes.

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Another Bohemian Rhapsody

Deb’s lying on the couch, shivering beneath the big down comforter I’ve thrown over her. “I know I have a fever,” she says. I feel her forehead with the back of my hand, the way we used to do with the kids. But sometimes my hands aren’t the best thermometers and I move my cheek down to her forehead. “You don’t have a fever,” I say. “I do!” she says. “I do have a fever! I’m freezing!” “No you don’t.

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Deflate Gate: Ignorance and Apathy

Having spent the first twenty-nine years of my life in New England, I’m a Patriots fan. There are those who want Tom Brady’s head on a stake because he under-inflated his football. This has been the lead news story across the nation for the past week. Bill Belichick had a news conference in which he said he didn’t know anything about it. And then, later the same day, Tom Brady had a press conference in which he said he didn’t

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Five Things I Hate about Porn and Why I Hate Myself for Loving it

“So what have you been doing all day?” “What do you mean?” “What do you mean what do I mean?” “Nothing,” I say. “I’m a big freaking loser.” “No you’re not!” says Deb. “You’re not a loser!” “Yes I am.” “Did you write?” “Yes.” “Then you’re not a loser! You wrote! Now, if you were online gambling all day and watching porn, then you’d be a loser.” I stare off through the window into the backyard, trying to strike the

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The Toad Is Not a Metaphor

It sucks working at the library because if you need to take a piss you gotta walk outside and all the way around to the front door and then through the stacks to the back in order to get to the men’s room. So it’s lucky there’s a floor drain in the mechanical room. Still, I do worry about the cameras. Everyone has cameras now. But when you gotta piss, cameras don’t worry you too much. You justify yourself as

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I Do Not Think They Will Sing to Me

Lenore would get angry when I wrote about wanting to be happy. I was having a short-lived affair with a woman other than my wife a number of years ago and Lenore was utterly disgusted with me. I told her that Deb and I weren’t like we used to be. Not like the old days. I told her I wanted to be in love and happy. “Happy,” she said, spitting the word out. “Happy. I’m so sick of people talking

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An Open-And-Shut Case, Johnson

Black Lives Matter. That was the theme of the sermon. And so, near the end of the church service, when Reverend Bryant is saying, “Come up to the altar. Anyone who needs a prayer,” I being white, like Darren Wilson, and the remainder of the church being black, like Michael Brown, I certainly don’t want to come up regardless of what prayer I think I might need. Earlier in the service, Reverend Bryant broke the congregation up into four prayer

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