Recently on Fiverr, I was asked to write a letter, which being a (militant) advocate for written-correspondence I was glad to comply. The only problem, though, was that I was asked to talk about "Hope." Where does one even begin? Deciding not to focus on my own experiences, I wanted to investigate what Hope actually is -- and I wanted be more practical and philosophical than merely (and often unfulfillingly) poetic. You'll find here no allusions to spring or sunrise. For such a nebulous but necessary emotion, I think it requires more seriousness than that.
David Sedaris (web | wiki) is a comedian and essayist known for his numerous memoirs including Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000) and When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008). His latest book is Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (2013). Even if you don’t know him by name, I can guarantee you’ve heard him on National Public Radio and This American Life.
I first read Sedaris’ work years ago when, traveling through Denver, I bought When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Passing through for a wedding and not feeling particularly social, I’d escape to my hotel room or an abandoned broom closet to read. Family hunted me down, telling me to put it away, but this only led me to smuggle the book around as illegal contraband. I’d hold it beneath tables and spend more time in the bathroom than was necessary.
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This is the follow-up to my last post, "Four Men in May (Part 1): Memory, Oscar Wilde, and Aldous Huxley," where I am posting four letters written by four men in the May before their twenty-third birthday. From Part 1: The title “Four Men in May,” then, is meant to be not only literal but … Continue reading Four Men in May (Part 2): Hunter S. Thompson, Joshua Preston
Since mid-August I've been working at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in their Visitor Services Department. It's a pretty straightforward job: I'm the guy who tears your ticket, tells you where the nearest rest room is and Please Don't Touch The Butterflies, Thank You. Because, you see, sometimes my job is to patrol the museum's … Continue reading The Butterfly Patrol: “Don’t Touch the Butterflies!”
Leaving Minneapolis on the morning of July 9, I arrived in Houston, TX, shortly around 4:00am on Thursday, July 11. Spending the night parked, sleeping in the grass, the sounds of the Texas night yielded to the sunrise. I was too groggy, my eyes drooping, to fully appreciate it, but even then I knew that … Continue reading On and Off to Houston