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… »12/10/13 2:49pm12/10/13 2:49pm

Be Your Own Best Friend: Why A Man Doesn't Need a Pet

I took the subway on a warm autumn evening from trendy Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., to the distant Maryland suburbs. As directed, I waited on the street by a line of pay phones. At the appointed time, a couple pulled up in the kind of rumpled and earnest vehicle typically associated with a riotous display of… »11/26/13 2:03pm11/26/13 2:03pm

How a Man Should Navigate a Fork In His Career Path

Three weeks into my law school career, I was sitting on the hood of my car in the large parking lot behind my new home, a high-rise apartment building in Arlington, Virginia. It was a hot afternoon, the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Heat eddied off the asphalt; the humid cacophony of insect sounds was in full… »11/12/13 12:52pm11/12/13 12:52pm

"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… »10/22/13 1:37pm10/22/13 1:37pm

The Game Never Stops Calling, Even When Your Body Won't Answer

I’m parked in a folding chair in a dollhouse of a YWCA gym, sitting on the sideline, wearing my official NBA-logo socks. Voices rise and fall, sneakers squeak, a ball pounds the vintage hardwood floor—the familiar sounds mingle in the stuffy humid air with the smells of floor wax and ammonia and the rising stink of… »10/11/13 5:05pm10/11/13 5:05pm

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,… »9/18/13 8:46pm9/18/13 8:46pm

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… »9/17/13 7:19pm9/17/13 7:19pm

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… »8/28/13 9:41am8/28/13 9:41am