The Rain in Brooklyn


There was a soft pitter-patter on the duvet cover. The calico cat clawed its way up the bed; waking me.

I glance at her inquisitive eyes, as if felines could posit anything beyond, “I’m hungry” or “Pet me” or “There are no Q-tips left for me to kill.”

I leisurely rise from bed, and meander into the living room, where I noticed a grey drizzle out my window and the laptop remained primed from the night before, screensaver didn’t take and the story stopped mid-sentence. I should stop writing on Xanax. I quit too easily. I pick up my last thought, “Where were you the last time you felt completely safe? I can tell you” … Continue reading


A Complete List of Fears, Vol. 1

“What are you so afraid of?”

It’s hardly an innocuous query. Doesn’t matter if the stress is on the “you”, the “so”, or “afraid.” The posit reads exactly the same. It asks you to dig down and assess what’s keeping you from your predetermined greatness. Continue reading

Vignette II


“I am so over meth,” she exclaimed, without a hint of irony.

Her teeth, occasionally radiant but mostly dulled and frayed from years of foreign deposits inhaled, shone semi-bright in the glimmer of the two-p.m. sun. It was brisk, but not chilly. She was warm, but still cruel.

Neither of us had desk-jobs, so we were free to meander and dip in-and-out of epiphany as we saw fit during working hours. She draped herself in a grey cardigan with cigarette burn-marks tied haphazardly around her neck.

“How could someone work so hard to accomplish so little?” Continue reading

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

Over the summer of 2003, which ranks overall as the third-worst summer of my life, there was a lone, shining bright spot: Kim, a wine-guzzling cougar who doubled as my Biopsychology professor and moonlighted as a regular bar patron at my tavern.

The text of choice for her class: a book called “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers,” an entertaining script that analyzed in humorous yet comprehensive clarity the relationship between stress, inflammation and mental health. Continue reading

2013: Looking Ahead, Pretty Scared


It’s January 3, which by now means over 65% of you are seriously neglecting your New Year’s Resolutions. Slackers.

I’ve never been much for goal-setting. Probably how I originally went to college for Broadcasting, ended up with a Psychology degree (after attending four different schools!), and had a career that’s careened from telemarketing to information technology to operations management to publishing to advertising. I’ve started two companies that have failed. I live paycheck-to-paycheck. I ran my last 5K about as fast as most people can walk one, but I’ve also finished three half-marathons and about a dozen other races that stretch longer than 10K.

New Year’s Resolutions? I don’t even know what I’m going to do tomorrow. For breakfast. I’m as consistent as a toddler at an archery range.

But it is 2013, and I’m done not resolving, because I’m 30 years old, and my lungs are pretty much a mess and my parents are wondering when I’m going to have grandkids and I’m pretty sure all those deep-seeded dreams I entertained when I was youthful and foolish have been forgotten in a haze of cynicism and delirium.

But I’ve got a spare 20 minutes, and here’s what I’m going to set out to do this year. Continue reading

This is very good!

Aaron Klein Space

These days, I feel both proud of and appalled by the state of journalism, especially when we consider such subjects as politics, energy, economics and even sports. It seems that journalism is skewed, or at least suspect of being too subjective and driven by agenda. In all fairness, there are plenty of outlets that offer the straight news, the Who-What-Where-When-How reporting we should expect and demand. There is also always a place for opinion; the op-ed writers and columnists own that ball field.

However, amid the Republican and Democratic conventions, the looming elections and the economic and employment concerns still hovering over us like dark clouds, there is too much control by reporters and their networks or publications, too much control of the news, of the truth. It has now become clear that we are not trusted to form our own opinions. In the minds of the…

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Thirtyist: 10. Maps


They’d come from all over the neighborhood, the adults would. And they’d gape in awe, confusion and perhaps skepticism at what they saw in my driveway: Impeccably detailed, wildly accurate chalk drawings.

But these were neither sketches of animals, nor facial portraits nor landscape vistas nor still-life representations. No, they were maps. Cartography as concrete art.
Picasso de Gama.

The East Coast Highway system, a route from Buffalo to Tampa, staked in carbon underneath the cars. In striking resemblance to the real thing.

And the artist was in first grade. Continue reading