Non-fiction

 
 
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My Son and the NICU at the Center of the Universe | Fatherly

“There are five other babies in five other HALOs. A chair sits at the side of each. Parents huddle. It looks like we’re in an aquarium. I overhear someone say there’s the same amount of salt in amniotic fluid as in the sea. I do not know yet that this is not true, but this myth that the womb and the sea are in some way connected, gives me strange solace.”

 

 
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Invaders on Holiday (or, The Consequences of Time Travel at the International Stone Skipping Competition) | Published in Hippocampus Magazine & chosen as a Longreads Editor’s Pick.

“You buy round-trip tickets on a time machine to celebrate stone skipping at what seemed like the Super Bowl of stone skipping, on an island stuck in 1890. Not that 1890 was a particularly kind and innocent place––for one, it was the year the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment shot and killed over a hundred Lakota Sioux at the Wounded Knee Massacre for fear that their ghost dance might bring the Sioux enough power to defeat the frontiersmen.”

 

The First Day of Fall | The Common

 

“We collected acorns from beneath the oak tree. I told him we’d plant the acorns and they could become trees. He shook the acorn to feel the weight of a full-grown tree. I had forgotten how, as a boy, acorns seemed like a supernatural currency.”

 

 

"By the time police arrived at the United States Naval Academy's Thompson Stadium, all that was left were two cans of chloroform, a rag, and an empty goat shed." -Chloroformed Goats and Stolen Mules

 
 
 
An early Bill, circa 1921. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing, LC-DIG-hec-31508

An early Bill, circa 1921. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing, LC-DIG-hec-31508

 
 

Chloroformed Goats and Stolen Mules | VICE

The first recorded goat kidnapping was in 1953. On November 22, Bill the Goat was thrown into a soft-top convertible, lying slack-jaw across the backseat as the car sped north for West Point, New York.

By the time police arrived at the United States Naval Academy's Thompson Stadium, all that was left were two cans of chloroform, a rag, and an empty goat shed.

 

 

When You Die, I’ll Be There To Take Your Stuff | Narratively

WHENIDIE

We start in the basement and work our way up through the house. We lift up mattresses, kick aside small tumbleweeds of hair and carry bedframes down the hall. We pack Halloween costumes and wedding dresses into banana boxes. We climb out bedroom windows onto roofs to see if weathervanes are worth anything. We step into decayed barns and collapsed sheds and pull tackle boxes, snow blowers, and tractor parts from the wreckage.

 

 
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The Moral History of Air-Conditioning | The Atlantic

More than just an appliance, the air conditioner is a memento mori. It was a device people invented to avoid a few individual deaths, and yet one whose adoption might have a role to play in the passing of a temperate climate for everyone. As summer proceeds, listen to the chorus of machines humming in the windows, outside the houses, atop the office buildings. They offer a reminder that humanity’s ingenuity can come at a cost. Maybe our forebears weren’t entirely wrong to see peril in the act of cooling the air.

 

 

"Five Hasidic men ran out of their apartments and screamed, “That’s not your bike!” I dropped the pipe and ran." -The Bad Jew of Boro Park

 

Jewish Halloween (AKA Purim) in a blizzard in Boro Park, Brooklyn

Jewish Halloween (AKA Purim) in a blizzard in Boro Park, Brooklyn

The Bad Jew of Boro Park | Salon

Five Hasidic men ran out of their apartments and screamed, “That’s not your bike!” I dropped the pipe and ran. They chased us down the block. I took the long way back home, afraid the elders would banish me from Boro Park. 

Vi Nguyen

Vi Nguyen

 Becoming Teddy Roosevelt | Narratively

Wiegand remembers the day he told his wife Jenny that he wanted to get out of Illinois politics after nearly twenty years of service and move on to his real passion. “Imagine that family meeting?” Wiegand says. “‘Sweetheart, I think I’d like to become TR for a living.’”

Joe, the author’s roommate, in his younger days.

Joe, the author’s roommate, in his younger days.

I Don't Know Enough About You | The New York Observer

The meteor’s blast made the blue Russian sky a scorching blank white. You heard windows shatter. The sonic blast was unnaturally loud. Like the thwack of hearing a home run in a stadium, but times a million. The news replayed the footage. The TV, at Joe’s volume, made it sound as if the asteroid was crashing right into our living room. The news said that an asteroid, no relation to the meteor in Russia, was due to fly over Earth later that same day. Joe was right, Earth wasn’t working.


 
Tallulah Pomeroy

Tallulah Pomeroy

15 Minutes with Alan | Catapult

Each object here is a trapdoor into the past. Like, say, the carved Viking head that hangs over his closet full of antique porcelain dinnerware sets. Alan’s lineage goes all the way back to the Vikings. His parents were from Norway. His dad was a sea captain. Because of his Viking blood, Alan joined the Navy during Vietnam. He’d rather have been at sea than drafted into the front lines. He spent two years on an aircraft carrier as a dental technician. If a sailor had a tooth that proved hard to pull the dentist would cut a flap in the gum and hold a chisel to it as Alan hit the gum with a mallet. 

 


 

15 Minutes with Rose-Marie Swift | Catapult

We walk up the hill, past jack-o’-lanterns grinning wide on the steps of antique shops, and take a seat in a busy restaurant near a large window overlooking Main Street. Rose-Marie sits beneath a large oil painting of a slim, mysterious woman in a red cloak. The cloak matches Rose-Marie’s lips. It’s almost as if it’s a painting of a distant ancestor, a monarch from another world.

 

The Shaman | The New York Observer

 
SHAMAN

Catching your reflection in the computer screen when you’re doing something you shouldn’t is a modern existential crisis. I thought about how disappointed my shaman would be.