Showing posts from July, 2016

The Wedding

Andrea and Rami led me to the kitchen and asked me to officiate their wedding. That was over a year ago at my sister’s house in Porter Ranch. Just like that! "You are the one we both unhesitatingly chose. You’re not just an uncle to us, you’re a very close friend." They said. I mulled it over, did the math (which I’m terrible at) and reached the conclusion that it was doable. Difficult but doable. I could make it to Los Angeles for their big day on July 16th, 2016. “I’d be honored!” I exclaimed. So it came about that I got myself ordained as a minister and showed up sober and all dressed up in a suit and tie right on time on a beautiful beach in Malibu. It was a simple ceremony of charming elegance. In the shade of an old tree, flanked on both sides by handsome groomsmen and gorgeous bridesmaids, the three of us stood. Friends and family sat on lawn chairs. The ocean waves lapped softly. A light breeze carried the notes of a guitar. The player and I momentarily exchan

The Art of Shaving

Whether a man is a rapacious glutton or a Sufi hermit, he is essentially a slave to his desires. He overindulges in carnal delights on one hand or in abstinence on the other to satiate his physiological drives or his spiritual compulsions. Being but moderate in my pursuit of revelry and a devout secular humanist, I heed idiosyncratic thrills with pious abundance. Come evening, for instance, I smoke one roll of tobacco that costs next to nothing to buy but days and weeks to acquire and cure. I light it with reverence and draw its smoke between sips of amber Scotch, which I can’t, for the life of me, imbibe unless poured in a specific glass that I call VĂ©ra. Such is the case with shaving. For ten minutes every other morning, I have elevated the elimination of my facial hair, save for my mustache, to a hedonistic feast of self indulgence. I like growing a beard. In fact, I wore one for years. Had it not been for the indescribable joy shaving brings me I would’ve kept my beard foreve