Culture and Society
The people I love the best / jump into work headfirst / without dallying in the shallows / and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
Over the past year, more than a hundred people have worn my handcuffs. Not long ago, in a self-defense class, I wore them myself. . . . The catch of the steel teeth as the cuffs tighten is austere and final, and never so much so as when it emanates from the small of your back.
Helplessness makes monsters of people. He’s seen chairs thrown, exam tables kicked. The rooms pathologists speak to patients in now have everything bolted down.
You are sitting in the mail room on that armless gray swivel chair with the duct tape on the seat, sorting the mail, and he’s telling you that corporate life . . . well, it’s a life, is what it is, and you can adapt to it and even start to enjoy it if you just adjust your perspective.
One can die in cleanliness, or one can die in filth. I’m not talking about your soul. At the Prince Hotel — an old Bowery flophouse — the men paid a few dollars a night to live in stalls, four feet wide and six feet deep, with chicken-wire ceilings.
Recently I was invited to give a special lecture at the university where I teach. I accepted the invitation though, contrary to what my sons might tell you, I don’t really like to lecture.