Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This is the first time I've been truly alone with myself since my last day at the Hellth Dept. on December 15. What that means, right now, is that I'm seated at the kitchen table. The dishwasher is running behind me. (Sometimes it sounds like it is talking.) I'm feeling hyperalert.

I've been reading back and forth between Nick Land's Fanged Noumena, Michael Fried's Four Honest Outlaws: Sala, Ray, Marioni, Gordon, and Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending. I've also been flipping back and forth between 3 works-in-progress of my own.


The de Kooning retrospective at MOMA was fabulous: 7 galleries of his work arranged chronologically. I particularly enjoyed the serial work--observing how images morphed and mutated over time.

The Gertrude Stein exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery was terrific too. It made for a great multi-faceted look at Stein and her oeuvre. It made me want to revisit an early ambition to write about Stein. Particularly in comparison with Marcel Duchamp.


During some alone time with my father, as he was driving me to an Amtrak station in Stamford, CT, he confided unbidden that the three people who have most influenced him in life are my mother, me, and a pastor. He explained the influence of mom and the minister in some depth and then said that perhaps I hadn't heard when he mentioned my influence. I told him I'd heard but didn't know how to respond or whether I should. He then explained what he felt my influence on his life to have been. It was something of a tortured monlogue. Well intentioned, but painful, nonetheless. I'm going to need to try and write about it soon. Even if only so that I can process the occasion.


Wow. I don't have to go back to the Hellth Dept. Except, eventually, to pick up a final check. The reality is slowly dawning on me. Unless I decide, at some point, to do some consulting or volunteer work, I will never do public health work again.

I'm a little nervous about retirement. I'm 58 point something years old and have spent the last 34 and a half years earning a living doing something I didn't particularly like to do but had learned to do pretty well. Now, all kinds of possibilities beckon. I hope that I don't fuck too much up.


Stay tuned.


  1. We will. And it seems a lot of things are happening to you right off the bat. Makes me so happy for you, Tom.


  2. Thanks, Karri.

    Your support means much more than you know.