THINGS I WISH I COULD ASK MY FATHER

To my father on Father’s Day: I wish I’d asked you more about the young nearsighted boy you once were, who took refuge in books, who learned to read  at a startlingly young age. Who spent hours on the river,

WAITING FOR GOD

When I was a child I had a dream that I was standing in a spot near my home where four streets intersected. I was in the wide middle area where I could look down all four streets, and I

RAPE

Brock Turner is a rapist. It’s irrelevant that he was or is a ‘swim star’ at Stanford. It’s irrelevant that he was a decent student. He is guilty of 3 felonies: Intent to commit rape on an intoxicated/unconscious person, sexual

excerpt from THE LONG GOODBYE

Twelve years ago, on June 5, my father died. This is an excerpt from my book The Long Goodbye which was published in 2004. The book chronicled the journey of losing him to Alzheimer’s, and this passage is about the

MEMORIAL DAY

When I was in high school, a boy a year ahead of me lied about his age and joined the Marines. It was the height of the Vietnam War, and that’s where he was headed. I didn’t know him that

LORD OF THE FLIES, 2016

I first read Lord of the Flies by William Golding in high school. I still have the worn paperback; its pages are so discolored with age they’re almost sepia-toned, but my notes, written in my looped ninth-grade penmanship, are readable.

WHAT IS HOME?

We’ve been packing up my mother’s house. The walls are bare now, the shelves empty. That house was never my home — my parents bought it after my father’s two terms as president were over — but it was their

excerpt from THE EARTH BREAKS IN COLORS

The call of an owl woke her. A call that always sounded like loneliness — wide and hollow, carried on dark winds. She pulled back the white eyelet curtains, tried to get a glimpse of the owl in the towering

IN DEFENSE OF MALIA

When it was recently announced that Malia Obama got into Harvard (no small feat) and would be taking a “gap year” first before going to college, most news outlets were respectful, reporting the happy news and commenting on the proud

AN OPEN THANK YOU NOTE TO WILL FERRELL

Dear Mr. Ferrell, I would like to thank you for severing ties to a film that uses Alzheimer’s as comedic material. I’m sure yesterday was not a great day for you, given the public backlash against this project. It wasn’t

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