Column: Vignettes on Death, Gods, and Bridges

I thought I was a strong swimmer. But I was also seventeen, and I thought I knew everything. It was hot, and the Delaware River was refreshingly cool. I can do this, I said to myself, perhaps a little too confidently. I stood at the bank of the Pennsylvania side, with my eye on a small sandy landing across the river in New Jersey.

An Outsider at the Crossroads

“I still can’t believe you’re moving there. That neighborhood is dangerous.” At that point, I had already had this conversation way too many times, with way too many well-meaning friends who simply couldn’t see past their prejudice. It seemed that every cup of coffee over the past month came with a free intervention attempt. It was getting quite tiring, and my patience was wearing rather thin.

Let’s Quickly Talk about the “Voodoo Sex Ritual” Fire

This issue has been tackled by others already, but I just thought I’d put my two cents in since this story is still popping up on my news feeds. It goes something like this: Two people have what seems to be a consensual sexual encounter in Brooklyn. Their intimate moments consummated on a bed ringed with lit candles. Sadly, one of those candles tipped over onto some fabric, starting a fire, a fire that couldn’t be put out. I’ll let Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano explain the rest.