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As a Man Ages, He Learns That All He Needs for the Holidays Is Family

My mommy is visiting for the holidays. I'm not so good remembering numbers so I always have to do a little math to figure her age. On my birth certificate it says she was 24 when I was born, in Charlottesville, Virginia, having been delivered by my father's professor of obstetrics—at the apple-polishing time of 5:36…

"The Talk" Is Always Ongoing—No Matter Your Age or Circumstances

Thirty-one stories over Las Vegas, I’m in the Will Smith Suite at Planet Hollywood, my iPhone pressed against a panoramic window. To the west the sun is setting over craggy red mountains; snow is evident on a farther range. Down on the Strip the lights have begun to twinkle; the fountains across the boulevard at the…

Fatherhood Never Stops Grabbing You By the Balls—Even When Your Nest Turns Empty

The red second hand travels along the familiar white face of the schoolroom clock in my officetick… tick… tick… audible and inexorable, stopping so diligently at each and every hash mark before moving on to the next, the sound resonating through the gathering quiet of my solitary evening like a steady heartbeat,…

The Not-So-Little Traveler. A Man Takes One Last Trip With His Son Before College

Early in the morning, high on a panoramic bluff in Malibu, I’m doing what I almost always do at this time of the day, alternately typing and thinking and looking out the nearest window. The marine layer is still in evidence; the gradually lightening gray-blue clouds meet the gradually lightening blue-gray ocean…

Happy F@#%&^$ Birthday: The Things A Man Learns As He Grows Older

I remember always wanting a horse. Being six, seven, eight years old, wearing my cowboy hat and boots and a pair of mini­–six shooters, the holster’s rawhide anchor straps chafing my thighs. “Happy Birthday” is sung. My dad is a veteran of glee clubs; he loves to harmonize. Happy birth-day to youuuuuuuuu. And then my…

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