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Gary Socquet
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Home Before Dark
All the ordinary cliches are on display this morning: a mismatch.com couple awkwardly, enthusiastically swapping veiled miseries over coffee and scones; a handful of earnest progressives preaching to the small choir of themselves; the grizzled fallen man, r...

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Night in America
Something I've noticed about myself as I've gotten older -- and it's something that should come with age, if you weren't fortunate enough to stumble across it earlier in life -- is that I have a better sense these days of the difference between the urge to ...

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Quasimodo on His Bar Stool
When people ask me how I met Katie, I tell them she gave me water. I try to say it like Charles Laughton as Quasimodo in the 1939 film adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame – "She gave me water" – but it's a reference too obscure for most ...

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Sic semper tyrannus
Not all cowards are bullies, but every last bully you'll ever meet, without exception and straight down to the bone, is most assuredly a coward. We all know a bully when we see one: he (or she) is small-minded, self-important, generally crude and often sadi...

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Scratching the itch.

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Little White Scar
There's a quarter-inch long scar on the knuckle at the base of my left thumb. It's been there since the summer of 1996, when I sliced it with a Stanley knife trying to trim a notch in a piece of clapboard I had to replace on an old farmhouse I was painting....

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Forty-five With a Bullet
For no reason whatsoever I woke up at five o'clock this morning and found myself inexplicably throwing back the covers and rolling out of bed. Three minutes later I stood shivering in my kitchen, sipping a glass of orange juice and staring out the window at...

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25 Photographs
Last weekend, five months almost to the day after I first took up residence here in the cozy Bear Lair, I hung some pictures on the wall. There's no significance to the anniversary itself -- if not for the fact that I know I moved in over the Fourth of July...

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The Inimitable Worm
Writing is a lonely racket. It kinda has to be, if you're doing it right. There's you, and the palette on which you're spraying your brilliance -- laptop, yellow legal pad, vintage Olivetti, whatever -- and the cranky, capricious, perverted worm in your bra...

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Some lies are eternal.
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