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Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.

New York City

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

Past Is Prologue

Love is strange

I fell in love with a guy from New England before I knew anything about him, except his art. This is a dangerous practice, as anyone who has spent time with an artist of any sort can surely tell you.

I should know better. I do know better. But I swear this time it’s different.

I found out everything I could about him through the usual channels — not obsessively, mind you, nothing creepy. I made certain inquiries. I’m like that when I’m interested in somebody, as a friend or otherwise. I want to know where they came from so…

Anniversaries serve an important psychological purpose: They’re like checkpoints in time, reminders to pull over and remember the people we used to be. Nineteen years ago, some of us were in high school, watching the world burn on one of those bulky TVs the teacher would wheel in for movie day. Others weren’t watching through a screen at all — there were fewer back then, anyway — but through a window. A cloud of white ash. A cubicle in Manhattan, trying to make it through the workday just like everyone else.

“Every year, the anniversary is marked by something different…

This Is Us

It took me 25 years to get the cut I wanted. Maybe one day I’ll get it again.

The first time I walked into a barbershop was like a first kiss. I was nervous, but thrilled. I felt square trying to be smooth; self-conscious, giddy with anticipation. I was also 25.

When I was nine, I drew the haircut I wanted on a Post-it note and brought it with me to the hairdresser. I was not very good at drawing, so I labeled the sides “shaved” and the top “long.” If you know what Jonathan Taylor Thomas or Devon Sawa looked like in the ’90s, then you know what I was shooting for — super hot. I was…

This Is Us

An ode to the experiences we took for granted

A photo of coffee cups lined up.
A photo of coffee cups lined up.

Do you remember coffee?

Not beans, which you buy in silence, mask stretched over your face, eyes darting under fluorescent lights. Not the glass carafe on your kitchen counter. Not your Keurig, which doesn’t count and never did.

I mean paper cups. Plastic lids with small embossed brand names. Loud rooms with retro light fixtures and overpriced banana bread. Strangers yelling at you to stop looking at your phone, it’s your turn, and oh my god, sorry, can I just have a small coffee? A small coffee. Hot cardboard juice that costs $3.25. Or iced coffee, all ice and no…

This Is Us

It really is the little things, apparently

An illustration of various female faces in a seamless pattern.
An illustration of various female faces in a seamless pattern.

A few weeks ago, I was at a crowded restaurant with two friends, sharing a pizza and attempting to focus on their stories while simultaneously trying to understand why the woman two tables away was crying.

It’s surreal how that entire sentence doesn’t… exist right now. Crowded restaurant, friends, huddled together with barely a foot between us. Strangers doing the same thing a few feet away. A young woman around my age with three men who seemed like her brothers, though they probably weren’t. As she began crying and gazing out the window, my attention shifted. Why was she crying…

Think again!

I decided to move out of the fifth-floor walk-up I shared with two college friends when the cockroaches no longer scattered in my presence. I found a studio in a building on the Upper West Side that my mother called “fancy schmancy.” It had eight doormen, five handymen, washers and dryers on each of the 37 floors, and a roof-deck overlooking Central Park. Was I worthy?

Truth be told, it wasn’t just the cockroaches that prompted my move, though my girlfriend had taken to tiptoeing across the floor as if it were a minefield. (I found her aversion to this…

It was early August and it had begun to grow dark as I stood on the elevated platform of Avenue U, set in what some consider the backwater of Brooklyn, but which a great many who are not editors or television writers, much less mutual fund managers, do not. It had now been several months since I broke my left arm, and broke it badly, trying to run on the icy, unfamiliar streets of my new neighborhood in the early morning hours. Now, returning from another session of physical therapy, I stared at the scene around me: The…

Well, really, it’s already too late. I’m trying to warn you that summer is coming. Unfortunately — like the hated and feared Kool-Aid man — summer has burst through the wall, uninvited, bearing a devil’s smile. Summer is here.

It can be difficult to convince people that the things they like are going to hurt them. It’s even more difficult when they already know it to be the case. Everyone likes to cast lines into the deep blue future. People bank on sunny days.

Oh there will be sun, New York City. The streets will be drenched in the kind…

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