Columnists

A Trump voter told me a joke the other night about how Jesus was in the back office at the Pearly Gates using Hillary Clinton’s “lie clock” as a ceiling fan. It was amusing when he told it, though thinking about it later I figured it would not win any comedy awards.
I had given one of my best sermons ever, though the phone, I discovered, had gone dead.
Some months ago, I wrote an essay, here in The Star, titled “The Last California Christmas.” It was about the last Christmas my family spent at my parents’ house on the West Coast.
Three bronze nails sit on my desk. They are hand-forged, about the width of my palm, heavy, and thick. I look at them with a magnifying loupe, hoping for a clue about what they might have come from, but there is nothing.
An old friend, whose high-winged plane has been tied down from time to time this summer at the Montauk Airport, had offered to take me up for a look at this place I call home. And so, on a beautiful morning last week, before the heat of the day had affected the air quality negatively, it was time.
My body was well ahead of my mind and its left hand was spraying shots everywhere, into the back fence, the net, and then Gary served and I began, began to realign, and once we’d tied the score at two games apiece, things, as they say, started to come together.
I read The Times last week, safe in my little Sunday bubble at the ocean beach, but with the Aug. 6 anniversary of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima on my mind. Just a few pages in, I was feeling the grace of my privilege — even in the face of my ever-more-common sleepless nights fearing the wolf’s breath at my door — but I was also feeling its weight.
“The View From Lazy Point,” one of Carl Safina’s eight books, had been on my bedside table, unopened, for several years. What prompted me to pick it up last week was the appearance of his essay in the first edition of The Star’s new magazine, East.
Listening to coverage of the presidential race, I have been struck by a repeatedly heard observation that Hillary Clinton is remote, frosty, not someone you would want to have a beer with. Maybe that is true; presidential candidates sometimes come off far differently than they really are in person. Someone I used to work with years ago who knew...