I made it back to Tampa last night. When I rented the Chevy Aveo, it had 193 miles on the odometer. I turned it in with 4,412. It’s a big country.

Some good stuff for your Thursday reading pleasure:

Henry Allen: If utter reversals in the name of revelation and truth are good enough for God, they’re good enough for Richard Avedon, the late photographer and Manhattan figure whose “Portraits of Power” are on view at the Corcoran Gallery.

In the manner of Jehovah making the crooked straight and the rough places plain, Avedon makes the confident look doubtful, the dour delighted, the guilty innocent, the heroic silly, and the charming peckish. And he persuades us that that in doing so, he has shown us The Truth.

Dan Barry: The lawn mower’s whine disrupts the morning peace of Coconut Drive like an alarm clock no one remembers setting. It rises and falls and rises again, as the angry machine cuts across the front-lawn jungle of an attractive house with great location and move-in potential.

Abandoned, in other words. Three years ago, sold for $660,000; today, a ghostly parcel of failure.

William Finnegan: When the Twiggs brothers got to the Grand Canyon, on May 12th, Willard called his girlfriend, a married woman in Louisiana, on Travis’s cell phone. She had to see the canyon someday, he said. “It will make the hair on your arms stand up. It’s that beautiful.” A few minutes later, driving east along the South Rim past a spot called Twin Overlooks, Travis made a hard left and drove his car, a Toyota Corolla with Virginia plates, straight toward the edge of the canyon. There is no guardrail at Twin Overlooks, and the canyon at that point is nearly five thousand feet deep. The Corolla jumped the curb, but it did not take the plunge. It got hung up in a small fir tree, clinging to the Kaibab limestone just below the rim.

Michael Mooney: It began with an awkward phone call: “Would you like to, um, go bowling with me?”

“Go what?”

“Go… uh… bowling. Would you like to bowl with me? I’ll pay for everything, of course.”

“You just want to go bowling?” She was incredulous.

“Kind of like a sweet, you know, all-American date,” I said, a nervous cramp in my chest.


“Yeah, I’ll go bowling with you. What time do you want to go?”

So it was set. My first date with a prostitute would be at a bowling alley in west Broward. We could talk about whatever she wanted. Do whatever she felt like doing. As long as it didn’t involve anything even close to sex.

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3 thoughts on “Back

  1. Wow. That story from Broward kicked ass.

    I wondered for a minute about the structure, about leaving the initial event at a relatively inconsequential point, moving forward in time, then picking up where it left off.

    But the payoff at the end, while subtle, was worth it.

  2. Tricks? That’s a difficult word although maybe not absolutely unfair. Depends on the day I guess. But there isn’t just one “real.” There can’t be. Never is. No matter the medium, camera, pen, pad, audio recorder, whatever, we look through finite windows, whether those windows are a day, a week, months, years, 1/50 of a second. We see what we see and we do the best we can. But what would be totally fair? Totally true? Watching someone do everything everywhere from birth to death?

  3. On the Mooney story: I would’ve ended with the second-to-last section. “… she watches as it drops back to its original location.” The end.

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