Middle-Aged Laments: Changing, Disappearing, Friendships

I feel old friendships changing, some diminishing in affection and interest, some fading in that crucial dimension of the interest we show in each others’ lives, and thus, threatening to vanish into insignificance. Some because of lack of attention, of the tender loving care that is needed to nurture relationships; some we have tried andContinue reading “Middle-Aged Laments: Changing, Disappearing, Friendships”

A Pleasantly Illegal Side-Effect Of A Humanized Interaction

For almost three years now, during those weekdays that I spend in the CUNY Graduate Center library trying to get some reading and writing done, I have, on occasion, been a participant in the following ‘encounter’ or ‘exchange’: I pour myself a cup of coffee at the dining commons and on arriving at the cashContinue reading “A Pleasantly Illegal Side-Effect Of A Humanized Interaction”

Shyness, Introverts, And Receding To Older Personas

A few days ago, I wrote on my occasional avoidance of company and/or conversation–with friends, acquaintances, and implicitly, of course, with strangers. In concluding, I wrote: On those occasions when I do carry out such deft evasions, I am reminded that despite writing in public spaces and despite taking up a career that requires meContinue reading “Shyness, Introverts, And Receding To Older Personas”

On Avoiding Company And Conversation

Yesterday afternoon, after I had finished teaching, as I hurried to the Flatbush Avenue subway station to catch a train for my evening workout, I saw a Brooklyn College colleague out of the corner of my eye. I walked on; I did not want to say hello; I did not want to stop and talk.Continue reading “On Avoiding Company And Conversation”

On Meeting a Veteran

I have lived in New York City through the ten years that the twin wars of our time, the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been waged. In that time, I’ve met a few members of the armed forces who have served in those operations. (Their willingness to talk about their experience has varied: someContinue reading “On Meeting a Veteran”

Of Pugilistic Encounters and Uncanny Resemblances

In high school, I boxed for a year in the flyweight division. In the year-end boxing tournament, I lost in the final. To my best friend’s identical twin. Most people who I recount this story to are struck by the apparent weirdness of fighting an opponent that bore a striking resemblance to someone who IContinue reading “Of Pugilistic Encounters and Uncanny Resemblances”