Shea was tall, slender, and had brownish-red hair that hung down to her ass. She drank beer and shot pool with confidence. The two of us were college seniors at the time, living and interning for a semester in D.C. After she broke up with her boyfriend back home in California, she would stop by my apartment at night and sit too close to me on the couch. The mix of beauty and sadness in her green eyes paralyzed me.
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” -James Baldwin, “Me and My House”
I spent this past Friday evening with one of my sisters at a high school football game. As we sat and watched, it was impossible not to notice that the home team, which opposed my alma mater, possessed a student section that had clearly coordinated a red, white, and blue color scheme. In addition to wearing those colors, students also waved American flags. This struck me as odd because those were not the team’s colors at all, and it wasn’t any kind of patriotic holiday that I could think of.
We concluded that it was a response to Colin Kaepernick‘s recent decision (followed by other NFL players, Megan Rapinoe, and even a high school football team in Seattle) to kneel during the national anthem. The movement has, of course, sparked all kinds of rebukes from near and far-off sources such as U.S. Soccer, the men’s U.S. hockey coach, former St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa, and actor James Woods. In that light, I suppose it isn’t that big of a surprise that a high school student body in Northern Indianapolis might also choose to get involved, but still, it begs some questions for me, most notably: why are so many of us threatened by an NFL backup quarterback who chooses to kneel during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner? Why does it offend us so intensely?
Milk, as most of us know, is a pretty mediocre beverage. For starters, it comes from the internals of a cow or goat. Not exactly what most of us reach for when we’re thirsty. After it’s forced on us during infant-hood, we mostly don’t drink the stuff, except it’s a nice compliment to cereal. I’ll give it that much. When the mediocrity of milk spoils, it becomes a sour and chunky liquid, much like vomit. From the vomit, we make all kinds of questionable substances, like yogurt, sour cream, ranch dressing, and worst of all, cheese.
When the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association inducted my grandfather into its Hall of Fame, Oshkosh High School named its football field after him. As a coach, his teams won state championships in 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1971.
I vaguely remember when he visited us in 1988. “I just hope I live long enough to see these boys play,” he told my dad.Read More
It will feel so otherworldly when you hear a voice within you that is peaceful and kind. A voice that’s unburdened by the sense that everything you do is wrong and that your life is on the verge of collapsing at any minute. You’ll just be in the shower or lying in bed at night or reading a novel, and this voice will confidentially break through all the noise. From time to time, the voice will offer you a clear insight, and just like that you’ll know what to do in the kind of situation that might have terrified you in the past. Maybe, just maybe, this voice is what Christians call “the Holy Spirit.”