Skip to content


I ran in to my mailman two days ago, on the precipice of this brutal heat wave now fully enveloping Brooklyn. You get to know your mailman here whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, always in or always out. “Those the parents?” he asked with a wry grin, having seen me tuck them in to a cab on their way to JFK. I figured he must have had some too ..

It was an interesting few weeks with the folks, both at home (for me) and abroad. “Some day this will make a great book” – you hear people say that all the time, in the midst of both crises and celebrations. But the truth is those books never get written. Instead it’s some derivation, either more or less spectacular than the original but always different. Coming close with words is a feat in itself, reserved for those few capable – the skills to pay the bills, as the Beastie Boys say. Life is for those living it, and only they will ever know.

I will relate this small anecdote, however. I was sitting in my apartment with my dad, discussing the place’s relative charms and flaws, having lived here four years now. I noted that it’s put together in funky form; the covers on the electrical outlets are all slightly askew. “I remember,” he said “putting the cover plate on a plug outlet once while my father watched.” My dad is handy with tools and woodwork, but his old man was an engineer beyond reproach whose skills were the origins of a family business lasting three generations. “I was trying to make the damn thing perfectly straight,” Dad went on, “while my father looked over my shoulder. ‘Leave it a little crooked’, he said, ‘it’ll look like a professional did it ..’ ”

I’ve heard most of his stories at least three thousand times, but had no recollection of that one. I thought it was pretty good, and if my sense for people is still intact, I think my mailman would like it too.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *