The poignance of the indoor cat who finally gets out on Christmas.

Wear as many clothes as possible, as often as possible. Avoid cameras, mirrors, and other reflective surfaces.

Someone reports that Jeff Goldblum is dining at the Griddle Cafe. He is wearing mirrored sunglasses. Someone asks how tan he is.

Dinner with an old friend and his younger wife. She is lovely and shy, and in compensation you are more outgoing than usual. As you launch into another story about your friend as you knew him in college, a look passes between them and he squeezes her hand. You realize that her reticence is actually boredom and that dinner is, for them, an obligation to be endured as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Sooner or later, one way or another, the workplace will steal your dignity.

We spent the next two decades holed up on the Cape in a drafty pink ranch house where I slammed out hundreds of short stories for low-paying sci-fi pulps. As it turns out, financial ruin and amphetamines make for a powerful muse. For a time we had a side line raising mushrooms in our basement, but it never paid off. That period finally ended when a collection of my writing marketed under the title The Unsound Mind of L. Rand Steiner met with modest success.

Listen—I never really made it out of there. The kids gave up on me long ago. Ann and I no longer speak. There’s a bad feeling lodged deep in my chest. The last time we spoke my son looked me in the eye and said well, Dad, it’s been weird. I didn’t know if he was saying goodbye, and was afraid to ask.

After his death many of his journal and notebook entries were found to have the notation “FE.” His final post, in its entirety, was “failed experiment.”

Reaching a late August level of nihilism when it’s only the first week in July.

Intelligence, inversely proportionate to reliance on jargon.

Your hearing starts to go, and then your vision—preparation for leaving this world.

He said, we don’t use “food colors” for culinary enterprises, or “asian” typefaces for asian ones. That would be akin to performing in drag. We use food-adjacent colors.

Life stages
1) unfolding
2) refolding

Two and a half drinks in, trying to build a fire the way his father did, cursing, hating himself.

Last night, the most wonderful dream: Dad still alive. It was all a mistake after all. He was standing in a sunny field. Tears streamed down my face. He smiled and held out his hand. He said: turn off your television. Stop your drinking. Put aside the things that do you no good.
Woke suddenly. Ringing in ears. Shortness of breath. Pain in chest, jaw, upper arm. Poured drink. Turned on television. Acceptance.

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