Take for granted that, when you give a man money and freedom for the first time (post college), he will either (1) live like a child or (2) live worse than a child, acting out all his repressed fantasies. I think about this every time I sit down to the lunch I pack myself at work: two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, one yogurt, one little cup of mixed fruit in gelatin, some crackers, a stick of string cheese and three cookies, with a glass of milk to drink.
And a pretty big salad, but still.
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Twice in the last three days I’ve seen someone reading a Rex Stout novel on the T. Not a vintage one, either – if I had to guess, probably a late 80s, early 90s reprint. What gives? Rex Stout’s a talent, of course, but wherefore the sudden interest? Assigned reading at Harvard? Did someone mention him on NPR?
It could just be my dumb luck. But (as Ian Fleming wrote), once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action. If I see someone thumbing through If Death Ever Slept on the Red Line this week, I’ll know … something.
(I linked to the Geocities page above for novelty)
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This past June, with its twenty-one sunless days, got me back on my Leonard Cohen kick. I think the man’s miscast as a musician – every song of his goes 45 to 120 seconds too long. But Leonard Cohen is, quite possibly, the greatest
American North American poet of the twentieth century. At least top three. He, St. Vincent Millay and Hughes can duke it out.
Dispute that all you like. What I will not dispute: a Leonard Cohen cover of Lily Allen’s “The Fear” would be awesome. Not singing, just speaking as a lonely piano tolls in the background.
Leonard Cohen does not make a good workout track for your iPod, of course. But you know what does? The soundtracks to Shadow of the Colossus and God of War II. Edit them down to just the boss battles. Slip your headphones on, start running, and then blink in a schizophrenic daze as the playlist ends and you find yourself two miles farther than your usual run, dripping with sweat and clutching a bloody sword engraved with runes in one hand. The runes will portend.