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Showing posts from March, 2017

Teaching the Insomniac

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Our marriage’s tides rise and ebb. I sense their rhythm, those neap phases and spring highs. Denise, my wife, loves calm water, but I yearn for the surf, so we each steer our craft different ways. Somehow, we avoid floundering. In 2009, I traveled alone to Switzerland on business. It’s my most frequent destination, because I write computer programs for a customer in Sankt Gallen, near the Austrian border. The Swiss are punctual and demanding, but their fame for honesty and discretion is well-earned. The all-night flight spent working, a train, a taxi, speaking rusty German, and the daylong office debriefing all took their toll. After showering off the travel muck and sliding between my bed’s crisp sheets, exhausted and half-drunk to boot, the hotel walls closed in, leaving me studying the ceiling. Ten almost identical nights followed. I exchanged wine and tequila for hashish and absinthe, but aside from adding psychedelic patterns to the ceiling, nothing improved. I programmed past midn…

Spring Break

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Four Drops Dribbled

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Vegan, I remember my chunks of meat. Once, starving, I wolfed down a burger, a gift from a kindly waitress in a 24-hour cafe. Another time I sat across from a grateful mafioso who wore a gold Sagittarius pendant, dropping chunks of ropey tripe into a potted rubber tree.
My favorite Mussulman Curry: Thai hot over starchy white rice. My meat: chunks of tofu, golden brown. Potatoes, peppers, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, onion, coconut milk, nuts, and enough chili powder to breathe dragon fire.

Chewing, eyes riveted to my glowing Kindle, I splash beer chasers into my maw. A forkful tumbles and splashes to lie beside a labial palp, wings, and thorax: thumb-sized, a dead cockroach, bathed in glistening coconut milk, cayenne-splattered.

I read about entomophagy and Angelina Jolie, escalating from crickets and a beer to scorpions, making crispy fries from fangless tarantulas. Four beers later I push it aside with my fork. It splatters a line of creamy drops, one for every not-so-vegan meal I’d eaten there befor…

Novel Math

Mark Twain's Writing Tips: solid advice even now. Especially now?