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Living Out Loud
 

Paul's Wall

3 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
This sunny day, Paul and I sit on the wall outside my apartment building. My good friend and neighbor admires my purple-painted toes. "You don't want to see mine," he says. "Especially since the chemotherapy."  

A Thong and a Prayer

3 Comments · Wednesday, July 1, 2009
An older man wearing a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap was near me on the bus, and his hands were shaking a little. He was singing: "Precious memories, how they linger/ How they ever flood my soul." The girl wearing the pink thong touched my hand and whispered in my ear. "Kind of like being in church, ain't it?"   

My Weird Life

2 Comments · Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A few days ago, for the first time in probably decades, I started thinking of Carl and Pearl Butler. Would they be on YouTube? Sure enough, there they were in their flashy Country music suits singing “Don’t Let Me Cross Over,” their only No. 1 hit, released in 1963.  

A World Without Paper

4 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I’ve certainly made strides in my personal life to consume less and recycle more. But lately — in complete opposition to the elation I feel seeing gas-guzzling SUVs replaced by energy efficient cars — a strange sadness creeps into my heart when I think about a world without paper.   

Milk Going Bad

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Somehow, I felt like I needed to pay my last respects, so I went to Bob’s funeral last Wednesday in Price Hill. I can’t exactly remember how we met, probably through a friend of a friend, but it was in the early 1990s. Throughout the years, we always stayed in touch, but I would often ask myself why.  

Urban Legends

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 3, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I was sitting with Tom Wolfe outside his Tom’s Pot Pies restaurant near the corner of Court and Vine streets downtown, and he suddenly pointed his long arm like a basketball center about to dunk. “That’s the dwarf,” he said dramatically, his eyebrows pointed for emphasis.  

The Last Real Letter

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It was mid-afternoon, and before going through a backlog of e-mails I decided to go to my real mail box and check my real mail. This is usually a somber experience. What fun is it to look through bills, advertisements and junk? This time, though, something got my attention. A blue envelope was in the stack of mail, and my address was handwritten on it.   

Halfway There

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I was half asleep on the couch the other night when something struck me: I’m the human equivalent of a soft-serve “twist” cone. I jumped slightly at this realization — nothing makes me sit bolt upright, mind you. I’m a twist cone: a safe mix of vanilla and chocolate.  

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Julie: Breakups during this age of cell phones and text messages seem to be so challenging, trying to get away from "it." I'm usually one second away from getting this urge to send a text, avoiding painful conversations, just to make sure that the stupid one will at least think about me for a minute. And reconsider? Larry: Julie's young. I'm not.  

A Oral History of My Future

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Not long ago, I finished reading The Story of Joe Gould as told by Joseph Mitchell, a columnist at The New Yorker magazine from the 1930s until the mid-’60s. Living solely off his friends’ contributions to “The Joe Gould Fund,” he spent his days as an eccentric, drinking and interacting with the city’s pop society of the time.  

Big and Gas Guzzling

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A few weeks ago, my friend Julie and I were walking the sidewalks of downtown and decided to take a No. 1 bus to Mount Adams. It was a nice spring afternoon, and we wanted to take in the sights up on the hill. While walking in Mount Adams, I couldn’t help but notice all the cars parked on the hilly streets.  

Didn't Jesus Love Lambs?

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2009
On Easter I attended a family dinner at which my ex-wife served roast leg of lamb. Thoughts of my friend Greg's words from Friday were in my head — that there's proof Jesus had lived. What would Jesus think of me eating a lamb? I started to feel guilty. But I hope that Jesus did live. If it's true, I'm sure he was a good person and someone I would have wanted to hang out with.  

Into the Forest

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I almost died at Red River Gorge when I was 17. My friend, Michutzel Roberto Giglio, and I crashed through a guard rail on a rainy night. Our car plunged 65 feet to the bottom of a ravine, splitting the boulder on which it landed. On the way down, I yelled, “Lord Jesus, have mercy!”  

Listening to the Birds Sing

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Simple but wonderful morning discoveries make me happy, make me glad I didn't give up on myself. Only a year ago, in fact last spring, I was fighting something in my mind that was getting the better of me, taking me over. There were no birds singing and there was nothing in the sky I wanted to watch or witness.   

Dead Dogs and Circuit City

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Call it a bad omen. As I traveled along I-71, I saw it, creeping out of the horizon in a butterscotch mass of grizzled fur: a cocker spaniel in its final resting place along the side of the highway. The family dog probably. Surrounded by medians, he must have fallen out of a car. That doesn’t happen in normal times, I thought, eyes wide. In normal times, you watch him just a little bit closer.