These are essays about my life. Past. Sometimes present. In some cases, essays is probably too formal a word. Stories would be better. Reflections. Recollections.

Is any of it true? Yes. Some of it is. If measured by good faith, a relatively keen memory, some documentary evidence, an abiding (sometimes crippling) sense of fairness, all of it is. If measured by the standards of disciplines in which I was once professionally trained – law, history – then, no. Of course not. I am absolutely certain that some of the facts in these essays are wrong. Unfortunately, I don’t know which ones. If I knew, I would make them right. Did something happen at night that I now believe to be day? It’s possible. In October, not April? Also, possible. Were you really spitting? I believe that you were. Was there really a Squirrel Monkey there? Yes. Really? Yes, I think so. I really do. 

Can I do better than that?

Sometimes my wife and I disagree, sometimes strongly, about something that happened five minutes earlier in the kitchen. And when I say “disagree,” I mean they are completely incompatible narratives. Sometimes, in the face of a surreptitious video recording, or the unimpeachable testimony of our 4-year old son, or a nagging sense that intransigence on this particular point might mean no sex later, one of us will concede, but regardless we probably both retreat thinking that we each actually had the facts right, and that the other probably paid off the 4-year old to say some bullshit. It’s hard to say what happened in the kitchen.    

Then, to make matters worse, a few hours later, or maybe it’s a day, or two years, one of us will reference that discussion in the kitchen and say something to the effect of:  you know what, I was being a dick in the kitchen. And the other might say:  yeah, you were, but I think I was annoyed about the thing in the car with the almonds. And the other will say:  yeah, I get that. And so on. And then, strained through guilt, charity, self-awareness, perspective, time, whatever happened in the kitchen, which was already hopelessly unclear, looks altogether different still. 

So, what did happen in the kitchen? The point is, I don’t know. I think it happened at night. I think it was in October. I think you were spitting. I think there was a Squirrel Monkey there. I really do. 

That is the best I can do. These essays are as true as I can make them. 


This is Also 40

Ella: In Memoriam

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