As I’m busy grading exams this weekend, the only post I can muster is another collection of first lines. I used a random number generator to put them is this order. Let me know if you think any of them are worth pursuing in a real post:
1. When I imagine dying, I think of silence, the sounds I’ve stopped hearing the first I miss.
2. In my family, no one likes to clean, and the living room is the site of some of our greatest passive-aggressive standoffs.
3. Reading is stubbornly two-dimensional—we only experience words arranged in sentences and can’t jump the line.
4. The greatest measure of how much I distrust myself is that, when something gets lost, the proper place is the last spot I think to look.
5. Some memories are beer and others wine—some you drink, the rest you leave unspoiled by opening.
6. I hate the instant a friendship sours and know that moment too well.
7. Sometimes I like to imagine historical figures meeting on train platforms.
8. You may not know that we have earthquakes in Chicago or that I’m the only one who feels them.
9. The modern addiction to novelty seduces us into believing anything in the past—even in the immediate past—is irrelevant.
10. Students and I never experience the same books… because rereading and reading are not at all the same thing.
11. My affection for whistling makes me dream of reverse karaoke where the singing is taped and I provide the tune.
12. The most horrifying lesson my parents taught me is that any future is possible.
13. Every collection begins with the assumption that desire can’t be fulfilled and that satisfaction is the worst outcome.
14. Most writers worry creative mines won’t yield, but a personal essayist has to wonder if, after all the digging, the surface will support any structure at all.
15. Teaching is fine, but someday I’d like a job title I have to explain.