CategoryTwo-minute Reads

Ask Dave: An Unethical Love Letter?

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I thought I had shut my Ask Dave website down after receiving a number of complaints about the advice I’d given to a fellow who was trying to stay clean and after being investigated by authorities who rudely accused me of making up stuff about someone who closely resembled former New York State Governor Mario Cuomo. But apparently the site is still live and I recently got this letter: Dear...

Gazing at the Face

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I’ve never lost my phone or worried someone would pick it up and start snooping. Maybe I should be more concerned: imagine all my secrets revealed. And there’s always the first time it happens: you say you never lose your phone and then you do. So I recently added facial recognition to the lock screen of my phone, with a password backup . That’s how you enter the inner sanctum now. I’ve shared my...

An Encounter at the Register

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The thermostat acting up and flashing ‘replace batteries’ isn’t an emergency, but I will say Julia is more comfortable and pleasant when the ambient temperature is comfortable and pleasant. The hardware store is only a ten-minute walk, and the sun is beaming this morning after the insult of several inches of snow yesterday. I’m happy to make the trip. The batteries are upfront near the register...

Happy Birthday, to Two Men Who Have Shaped My Life

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That’s my dad and me 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 95. The photo is staged because a...

The Devil in D.C.

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I recently visited our nation’s capital. I walked the neighborhoods, visited the monuments and memorials, looked at art, watched the people, and even witnessed the presidential motorcade passing by—and all the time I experienced a nagging sensation of dirtiness, a troubling unease. Something has gone wrong in our nation and I seemed to be searching for clues in our capital as to what happened and...

In This Corner, Will Smith

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I can’t say I watched the Academy Awards Sunday night, but I repeatedly replayed the video of actor Will Smith going up on stage and slapping comedian Chris Rock when Rock made a joke about looking forward to seeing Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, starring in GI-Jane 2. If you don’t know the reference, the actress Demi Moore—famously hot at the time (1997)—famously shaved her head as a marine...

Grief on a Timetable

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Since the U.S. is sure to pass one million Covid deaths (970,000 and counting), it might be opportune timing that a new mental disorder diagnosis has just been added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): Prolonged Grief Disorder. The DSM is a comprehensive classification of officially recognized psychiatric disorders. Published by the American Psychiatric Association...

Living Off the Land

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Tapped the tree, cooked the sap, made breakfast. We’ve got four mature maple trees on our property and I tapped two of them this year.  The time to tap is when the nights are below freezing and the days warm up enough to get the sap flowing. On a good day, I get a half-gallon of sap from each tree. On a frozen day, nothing. Tapping a tree is the easy part. Drill a hole, stick in a tap, and...

“The Worst Person in the World”

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I’m fortunate to live just a few minutes from the Spectrum 8 Theaters, where independent and foreign films are still shown. And now that I’m going to theaters again, I had a chance to see The Worst Person in the World, a subtitled film from Norway that takes place in Oslo. Simply seeing another culture with its nuances and new faces depicted is refreshing for me. I’d classify the film as a...

I Caught Her Reading My Journal

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I caught her reading my journal. I got home and she was already at my place, which is within our rules. When one of us is late the other knows where the key is hidden. Make yourself comfortable. That means open the refrigerator, check out my bookcases, pet my cat. It never means read my journal. I’d left it on my desk. Cover closed, but plain as day. It’s the journal where I write my private...

What About That Ending?

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I’m in a phase of rereading some of my favorite novels that I’ve been pulling from my bookshelves. Last week it was Revolutionary Road. This week it was In the Lake of the Woods. Only a daring and confident writer (or a misguided one) would write a novel that carries the reader along, building an overwhelming sense of suspense and uncertainty, and then leave what seems to be the major story...

It’s Not So Easy Being A Giant

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André the Giant was born André René Roussimoff, a French professional wrestler who was over seven feet tall and afflicted with acromegaly, a disorder in which the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. He died at age forty-six.  Visiting a statue of Robert Wadlow when the kids were young. Robert Wadlow, also known as the Giant of Illinois, at eight feet eleven inches, was the tallest...

Gaslighting

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Harriet’s in Florida for a few days visiting her mom so this was an ideal time for me to finish painting her closet doors. I’d been careful about moving her clothes out of the way of my brush while sliding the overlapping doors back and forth to gain access to the edges and the sides. I was on my third coat of paint, since I was covering dark wood with white paint. And then I noticed it: a...

THE POWER OF THE DOG

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I’m very much in the minority on this one: I didn’t love the film The Power of the Dog, by acclaimed filmmaker Jane Campion (The Piano). Me, who likes the understated, who appreciates the quiet story, found myself restless, even bored at times while watching the movie. The drawling narrative focuses on two brothers, wealthy ranchers in Montana in 1925. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the classic macho...

A Way to Make Life More Bearable

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I got a Facebook message from a woman who said her granddaughter has “her heart set on being a writer.” Said granddaughter is always writing in her journal and writing poems and stories. Grandmother wants to know if I have any advice or tips she can pass on to her granddaughter. Sometimes I think there’s more advice out there about writing than there is actual writing. Do a Google...

David Klein

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

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