I met my boyfriend through the personals. His ad said that he was looking for a woman who was “athletic.” I assumed that was a code word for “thin.” After we’d been dating for several months, he told me I was wrong, that “athletic” had actually meant athletic.January 2004
Two days ago, I reduced myself to a sturdy hobble by learning to jump rope. Never in my youth did I jump rope. Where I come from, males did not even consider it, except behind the walls of gymnasiums, and then only with the ultimate goal of pummeling an opponent in mind. But I’m a long way from youth now, and, having become convinced of rope-jumping’s merits as exercise, I strode boldly into a toy store, bought a candy-striped, red-and-wheat-colored rope, and went home to use it.July 2000
Mescaline, step aerobics, Pike’s PeakMay 1998
Awkwardly, in fits and starts, the words came back to me.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee . . .
Like a warm cloak, the mundane settled onto his shoulders. He pulled the edges of his days close around him, nestling into their routines.April 1994
How To Kiss The American Dream Goodbye
Here’s one small metaphorical leap from travel literature: the journey of life can be enjoyed even in cheap hotels. This idea is standard in any folk philosophy — better to have modest means and do what you enjoy. Even in the carpeted corridors of yuppiedom, people are considering “downsizing” their frenetic careers, although this is more a search for sanity than the pursuit of an ideal. What I advocate is more radical than winching down from six digits of income to five.January 1993
On The Virtues Of Walking
I’m a native New Yorker. I was born in Greenwich Village and raised in Brooklyn. I don’t live in New York now, but I still work there, and I consider it my goddamned right to go anywhere I want in the city. I’ve got to watch out — if a place looks dangerous, or people look dangerous, then I’m going to steer clear. But not on principle.August 1992
My daughters want to know why I’ve started working out at the Y. I want bigger muscles, I tell them. I want to be stronger. They think this is hilarious: a forty-six-year-old man acting like he’s sixteen.December 1991