Well, I can’t sleep. My hands are shaking, my teeth are chattering, and I feel as if a thousand centipedes are creeping over my skin. The last time I felt this ill was when I caught a nasty norovirus during my first year of college. I crossed off bucket-list items that night. Get rushed to the hospital in an ambulance? Check. Reach a personal record temperature of 104.2 degrees? Checkity-check. Get diagnosed with borderline sepsis? You betcha. That night f***ing sucked.
The only other bout I’ve had with a pathogen worth naming was with the flu in high school. I…
Ah, Love! Could you and I with faith conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits — and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Edward Fitzgerald translation)
Not two weeks before I began reading Flossie Deane Craig’s novel Feathers In A High Wind did I encounter those lovely lines in the quasi-Sufi philosopher’s collection of mystical poetry, originally composed in twelfth century Khorassán (a region of modern day Iran). Given that the former title is a gritty narrative of life in bucolic northern Arkansas…
Men talk of heaven, — there is no heaven but here;
Men talk of hell, — there is no hell but here;
Men of hereafters talk, and future lives, —
O love, there is no other life — but here.
Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Robert le Gallienne translation)
I heard a joke recently that goes something like this: two people meet for the first time on a date, and the conversation soon drifts to personal details. The guy mentions he’s an engineer, and the girl, seemingly confused by the statement but determined to handle the situation with aplomb…
If you’re reading this, there’s a strong chance you’ve arrived here via my Instagram profile, or at least what remains of it. A carefully curated chronicle of my existence in the years since 2014, it was until recently populated with more than four hundred posts throughout which one could trace my relationships, friendships, passions, quirks, and regrettable captions if one so wished.
In addition to creating this catalog of my life, I was convinced for years that preserving long-standing relationships, initiating connections, and following current events comprised the ledger of essential purposes for maintaining an account. …
Four hundred and twenty-five stairs
Taken in pairs to wake the quads
Place our crew atop a grand waterfall
Bordered by a parking lot
That dampens the victorious ascent
We could have fucking driven up here
I mutter to my two companions
As we sweatily amble past
Plump tourists and geriatrics and children
Whose quads remain blissfully asleep
Leaving them to dumbly gape
We forge into the autumnal hills
Five arduous miles of scuffling
Through cranberry burnt sugar leaves
Interrupted by mangroves in troughs
Then from the trees emerges
Some looming structure painted gray
A drab and…
I normally make an egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast in the mornings. The process is the same each time: whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and milk, and while they’re cooking, toast the bread and retrieve the cheese from the fridge. If there’s none left from yesterday, make coffee, too. It’s a boring yet efficient routine.
I tend to go about this little ritual with earbuds in, listening not to music, but rather to debates, typically concerning free thought, foreign policy, or religion — topics ever ripe for disagreement and conflict. …
In living through the pandemic-ridden months of 2020, I’ve gotten used to seeing masks in the pictures populating my social media feed. The more noble exceptions to the trend are usually adventurous friends of mine hiking or biking through remote regions of the country, while the moronic cases take the form of college kids drunkenly parading through bars or frat parties. However, a faithful new cohort has joined the latter in its dullardism. No American cultural phenomenon bucks general wisdom like the patinated practice of evangelical bible camps.
My attention was recently drawn to the matter by some dubious Instagram…
I keep a small sticky-notepad tucked in the center console of my Golf GTI. Each note looks like the the one in the photo above, and at every opportunity, I leave these little pieces of paper on whatever “up-badged” cars I find sitting in lots, stowed inside decks, or parked along streets. If you’re not familiar with the term, up-badged cars are basically the celebrity impersonators of the automotive world — cars bedazzled by their owners to resemble whatever hotter, pricier versions the owners wish they drove.
I don’t get on Facebook much. While this is partially due to my sneaking suspicion that Facebook extracts more utility from me than I do from it, I maintain that there are health benefits to avoiding the various mundane updates and political misinformation spilled onto the platform by distant acquaintances and aging relatives.
However, I recently made an exception when my south-Georgian hometown’s local newspaper, the Valdosta Daily Times, published an article online detailing the forced resignation of a local bank vice-president for a racist diatribe he posted to Facebook in the wake of President Obama’s eulogy for the late…
Growing up in the deep south, I attended a massive county high school, the equally massive student parking lot of which was regularly clotted with trucks. Trucks are as common in the rural south as Teslas are in Silicon Valley. Throw a rock, and chances are a passing F-150 will block it from hitting a church.
Like churches, some trucks are more respectable than others, and a cursory tour of my old school’s asphalt landing strip revealed as much. …
Car enthusiast, college student, southerner, advocate for science and reason.