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No. 33: Running Out of Time

I wanted to be a professional tennis player. Most kids I competed against started at four or five. They stood at the service line while their dads tossed balls from a grocery store cart. At 10, I got a late start. By 13, I had my eye on Wimbledon and knew that to get there I’d have to train hard. I played every day after school. I hit 300 forehands and 300 backhands against a wall. I jumped rope. I [...]

No. 32: Quit?

I’m over this weekly essay challenge. I started this challenge when I turned 50. My goal is (was?) to write 50 essays in 52 weeks. Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, said, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.” I came across this quote on Twitter the week leading up to my birthday and I fell for it. I wanted to become a better, faster writer. I thought busting [...]

No. 31: Brain at Work

I’m up early-ish, 9:15. Kids are on winter vacation so no alarms. I’m re-working a story about how, at 50, my brain is going to shit; how I can’t focus and can’t remember things the way I used to. An editor at an online magazine asked for a re-write. She wants me to explore why losing my mind scares me. Hello, because it’s my mind! But I see her point. A story needs more. Iwrite about how in my 30s [...]

No. 30: Postal

“The places change, the numbers change, but the choice of weapon remains the same. In the United States, people who want to kill a lot of other people most often do it with guns.” –The Washington Post, November 9, 2018. I went postal at a kids’ birthday party. Fortunately, I didn’t have a gun. That wasn’t the case in the 316 mass shootings the U.S. suffered in 2018. Three kids celebrated their tenth birthday, so all the 4th grade boys [...]

No. 28: My Achilles Heel

I started training for the Miami marathon because I’m a midlife crisis cliché. I ran cross-country in high school. The most I’d ever run was 10 miles, but I told myself since I was a kid that at 50, I’d run a marathon. I’m 50. I did three miles, three times a week. Then four miles with cross-training — an hour of biking — on the off days. I added six miles and the next week, eight. Then nine. Then twelve. Training was actually [...]

No. 27: My New Year’s Resolution: Watch More TV

In 2019, I resolve to watch more TV. The problem is I prefer to work. I’m preoccupied with getting my stories published and producing a podcast, which is why I hardly ever cozy up in front of the TV and veg out. The TV was always on in my house growing up. My brother was addicted. And because the TV was on, I watched from the day I was born until the day Tony went to college in 1984. I [...]

No. 26: Jewish Christmas

On Monday, after dinner, my wife, Vicky, our son, Sebastian, and I went to the Firefighter’s Christmas tree lot and picked out a tree. Tashi, who’s 14, stayed home to do her hair. Sebastian, who’s nine, dragged the tree inside and Vicky directed him to put it in the corner of our living room, right in front of a giant window facing the street. Sebastian closed the wooden blinds to make more room for the tree. The blinds have never [...]

No. 24: Oversharing on Facebook Can Lead to Good

A few weeks ago, I posted something on Facebook. My mom wrote in the comments, “Would you like it if your mom was as forthcoming as you? Asking for a friend.” I wrote a story about letting a man go inside me without wearing a condom and why, after years of advocating for safer-sex, and even after coming out as a lesbian, I would let that happen. Then I posted the story on Facebook. It’s not the most embarrassing thing [...]

No. 23: The Things She Carries in Her Giant Purse

My wife, Vicky, is an immigrant. When we met eleven years ago, she had already been living in the United States 13 years. I thought she spoke perfect English, but when dessert came she said, “Let’s dive onto this pie.” She told me she’s from Venezuela. I’m from Miami and knew nothing about Venezuela. I said, “South America, right?” She said, “That’s good. I’ve dated Gringas who think it’s near Greece.” (READ FULL ESSAY HERE…)

No. 22: Fifty Yards

My nine-year-old beat me in a running race. We’ve raced before. The last time, when he was about six, I ran just slightly ahead of him, close enough so he felt like he was in the race and also close enough so he could pull on my shirt. But I never let him win. That felt dishonest. Today when he said, “I’ll beat your butt,” I said, “No way.” I was confident even though he’s now almost five feet tall [...]