Too, Well, Common

I just finished my second queer memoir of Pride Month—I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell—and below is my favorite passage.

I try to make myself realize that I have learned the difference between right and wrong. That there is such a thing as right and wrong. But instead I’ve learned that these are things—this “right,” this “wrong”—these are things that we are told. Simply told to believe. These are things we have not tested. And while most of the things we are told may be true, it is not until we have tested them, taunted them, flaunted them, that we truly know they are right. Or wrong. Or true. Or false. Or somewhere in-the-fucking-between. And I think I know now a little better which is which. And I also know I’ll never quit testing this world. I’ll never rely on common knowledge. Or common denominators. Or even common sense, for that matter. To do so would be too, well, common.

Keep Your Bones

In 1963 Charles Bukowski wrote a letter to John William Corrington and it contains, to my mind, some quite fine bits of real damn loveliness.

Keep your bones in good motion, kid, and quietly consume and digest what is necessary. I think it is not so much important to build a literary thing as it is not to hurt things. I think it is important to be quiet and in love with park benches; solve whole areas of pain by walking across a rug.


78 Things I Did in the 78 Days Since My Last Web Log Post

A numbered list.

  1. bought a watch

  2. took a dip in the Atlantic

  3. stayed in a hotel

  4. stayed out too late

  5. asked a stranger to lunch

  6. asked friends for a favor

  7. broke an iPhone

  8. fixed a table

  9. ran 271 miles

  10. ran into best-selling author David Sedaris on a dark, deserted street in Provincetown, Massachusetts in the middle of the night whilst inebriated and covered in sand

  11. paddled a kayak

  12. rode on a ferry

  13. packed

  14. moved

  15. unpacked

  16. stood in lines

  17. sat in hot tubs

  18. played catch

  19. played catch-up

  20. talked over coffee

  21. talked across continents

  22. blew out candles

  23. sucked in my stomach

  24. won an axe throwing contest

  25. lost many games of Monopoly Deal

  26. spent a week on Cape Cod

  27. spent an evening watching Ellen DeGeneres do standup

  28. worked many hours

  29. read few books

  30. got upset with the world

  31. got upset with myself

  32. laughed

  33. cried

  34. farted (a lot)

  35. turned 34

  36. stayed away from my laptop

  37. stayed close to my dogs

  38. watched a sunrise

  39. watched the sun set

  40. listened to live music in California (Ed Sheeran), Illinois (Billy Joel) and Texas (Troye Sivan)

  41. wrote a poem

  42. assembled a shelf

  43. celebrated two wedding engagements

  44. survived eight airplane flights

  45. submitted expenses

  46. withdrew a statement

  47. gave a back rub

  48. took a staycation

  49. made messes

  50. made up

  51. dressed up

  52. dressed down

  53. threw a fit

  54. threw a frisbee

  55. sent mail

  56. received advice

  57. looked through old photos

  58. listened to new music

  59. whined

  60. dined

  61. hiked

  62. biked

  63. bid farewell to an old friend

  64. waved hello to a new neighbor

  65. walked to work

  66. walked hand in hand

  67. held my breath

  68. held out hope

  69. practiced yoga

  70. practiced patience

  71. rode on trains

  72. picked up pennies

  73. kissed a boy

  74. bled

  75. tended

  76. grieved

  77. mended

  78. typed this list