CategoryPersonal

Today I Flew the Flag, Not Upside Down

T

Julia asked if I was putting the flag out today. I realized I should. I flew it for one reason only: It’s Memorial Day and I wanted to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. military. They deserve this honor. Otherwise, I haven’t been flying the flag. The last time I did, in 2016, I flew the flag upside down as a call of distress. I got some pushback over that. I’ve been...

Memorial Day 2020

M

May 24, 2020. Memorial Day Weekend. This is the front page of the New York Times today: 100,000 thousand dead so far in the United States from COVID-19. So far. The sub-head to the story states, “They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us.” There will be more deaths. Probably many thousands more. Compare this number to the number of U.S. deaths in war. Almost twice as many...

My First Novel Was a Disaster

M

I’m on page 38 of 327 pages of a novel I’m reading and I want to put it down. I’m uncomfortable reading. Anxiety is building in me. Anguish weighs me down. Even shame. And yet — I also experience a sense of wonder. The novel is called THE PETTING ZOO, and it’s the first novel I wrote, 30 years ago. I came across the manuscript — wasn’t sure I still had it...

COVID-19 Reaches the Cottage

C

My calendar has been a lot less full these days. It’s the nature of my lifestyle during COVID-19 and my life in general as a writer: I have unstructured time that I use the best I can. Today I had an alert from my calendar: this is the weekend I’m supposed to open the family cottage. The cottage is an inherited asset shared among my siblings and is a lifelong gathering and living...

It Might Be Time to Fly the Flag Again

I

I don’t fly my country’s flag very often. I used to put it out on Memorial Day or July 4th or Labor Day. Harriet once questioned my appreciation for the flag, because to her it seemed more of a Republican symbol — they were the flag-waving party. I insisted that we can’t let Republicans own the flag. It belonged to all of us. It represented our entire country. I still feel...

Home Gym is Getting Busy

H

I’ve been working out alone in my garage for years. It’s a spartan space: unheated, floor of concrete, shelves packed with garagey stuff. There are bicycles, tools, garbage cans, recycling bins. Unfinished walls. But I’ve got a set of dumbbells. And I’ve got a pull-up bar and a yoga mat and a Bosu and a jump rope. I’ve got everything I need to get a solid workout...

Am I Suited to Social Distancing?

A

I don’t even know what week of stay-at-home we’re in, which shows how time is changing, most days are the same, one can be exchanged for the other. Maybe week 6. But time passes differently now. It lacks momentum and change. Stories about hospital nurses dying, or parents spreading Covid-19 to their kid, who then dies. Stories about people who can’t pay rent, are hungry, are...

Today I Wore a Face Mask

T

I wore face mask for the first time today when I went to pick up dinner for my family from a local restaurant. I parked in the lot and slipped on the mask and took a few practice breaths to get accustomed. My mask was the homemade type, fashioned from a bandanna and two rubber bands. The fit was snug. Breathing was a little harder. I checked myself in the rearview mirror and the eyes that stared...

What it Means to Be a Man: Part 2

W

Part 1 is about the masculine art of crushing bugs. This Part 2 is about shaving. One thing new I’ve done while staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic is to take an online course offered free through Yale: The Science of Well-Being. Fantastic experience. Engaging professor. I learned ideas and actions that should improve my well-being, all backed by science. It made me miss college, not...

Stay at Home: Week 5

S

Starting the fifth week of staying at home due to COVID-19. Here are my thoughts: I’ve gotten a lot done around the house. Repaired a rotted window, rebuilt my firewood crib that had partially collapsed, fenced in an area and started planting vegetables, raked out all beds, fashioned a new door for my Little Free Library. Also getting a lot of exercise, although none of it is playing tennis...

Happy Birthday, Bob Klein

H

That’s my dad and I riding bikes past the old casino in Delaware Park, Buffalo, New York, 1973. It was late March, the piles of snow melting in the background. I’m 14 years old, a high school freshman. My father is 46, married, the father of five, a rising marketing executive at a pharmaceutical company. Today is his birthday. He would have been 93. The photo is staged because a...

Happy Anniversary

H

It was among the art and light and spring air of Paris that we first got our start, and a year ago today Harriet and I returned to that same city to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. For our twenty-sixth, we’re housebound. She’s upstairs at her desk working from home. I’m downstairs at mine. Two college-age kids are back living with us, finishing their semesters...

Dinner with Family — and the Mob

D

What to do when hunkering down with the family? We ate spaghetti dinner thanks to my son, 20, who made us sauce, and we watched The Godfather, one of my favorite movies of all time. About family. I tried to get the kids to watch The Godfather when they were still too young, probably six or seven years ago. It didn’t hold their interest. This time it did. Daughter 21, watched a three-hour...

Today I Bled, and Other COVID Thoughts

T

I had to get out of the house and I put on my hiking boots and at the end of my neighborhood I ducked into a wooded area on top of the ridge above our rail trail. The landscape was gray and brown, like the rest of the day and my spirit. We really are in a reality show, just like the president wanted when he ran for office. Only he’s the villain in this story, not the hero. He’s a...

“You Only Live Twice”

&

I corkscrewed down the research rabbit hole today. I got interested in stories of people who faked their own death — the whys and hows of it — and I came across an interview with an expert in faking death, Elizabeth Greenwood, who wrote a book titled “Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud.” This book is now on my to-read list. Turns out that lots of...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

Novels

Get in touch