I’m finally free!!! (to do what, though?)

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From mid-April till last week, I was, body and soul, the property of the 80 or so students in my writing classes. Their end of semester workloads were coming due, and anxieties were crescendo-ing. I offered to meet with and help anyone who had 10-15 minutes to spare. I held more conferences than an airport Radisson. Offered more advice than an airport Radisson conference full of Dear Abbys and Ann Landerseseses. I learned much about the Keystone Pipeline, a couple viruses I’d never heard of, and how depleting the global population of tigers can negatively impact human civilization, too.

Do advice columnists get tenure?

Do advice columnists get tenure?

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Triptych a.k.a. this one’s not about sports, Chela

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“In ancient Phrygia, in a temple in Telmissus, there was a great wonder: the reins of a cart, twisted by the dead king Gordius, into a knot that nobody could untie. The reins were made of Cornel bark, which had shrunk and compacted over the years. And they were tied in what’s called a Turkish knot, with no visible ends. Hundreds of men had tried and failed to loosen it.”    

                                                                                                                          Mike Carey

I’ve been working on a new short story. A guy gets a friend request from his ex and has to decide whether to accept it or reject it. The story alternates between flashbacks to different eras in their relationship—the halcyon early months, the helpless hurt of the last weeks, the vertiginous in-between—and the present-day moment of decision. Beneath a starry night sky, the protagonist balances what once seemed to matter against what’s left of what was, and tries to understand: if matter is neither created nor destroyed, then what is left after love and hate run their course? In their most basic state, stripped of all our ornamentation, what survives?  Continue reading