It will only make your work life more difficult

An employee working at her desk with headphones in is interrupted by a manager who comes by for a chat.
An employee working at her desk with headphones in is interrupted by a manager who comes by for a chat.
Photo: FluxFactory/E+/Getty Images

It’s Friday afternoon, the end of a long day at the end of a long week. You’re already planning the delivery you’re going to order for dinner when your boss pokes her head over the top of your cubicle. She wants to know if you’d like to go for a drink at that cute place near the office, the one that has bocce ball.

On the one hand: No. You’re tired. Your couch is calling your name, and spending a few hours trying to stay on the right side of the line between schmoozing and ass-kissing is the emotional opposite…


Small pleasures like ghosts in a cloud of smoke

Illustrations by Syan Rose

The first time was on the roof, and so every time after had to be on the roof, even though it violated the building’s bylaws. Fortunately it was raining in our rainy town, so we were alone up there, under a big purple bruise of a sky. It took a few small inhalations to get the thing lit, and then he passed it to me, casual and two-fingered. The tip glowed orange, a flare in the drizzly evening draped over the city. …


Illustration by Carly Jean Andrews

Watching our dads grow older is painful, but it can be a step toward reconciliation

There is something special between fathers and daughters. The nature of the special thing is clearer, simpler when the daughters are children: There is gentleness in it, and nurture, and the protective feeling of any large being for a smaller one it loves. My dad taught me, strapped into six layers of padding, to rollerblade on the streets that slope through Central Park, letting me careen into him at top speed before I learned to stop gracefully. At home we built sculptural collages together, gluing odd bits of recycling onto a sheet of cardboard and spray-painting an American flag over…

Jennifer R. Bernstein

writer/journalist. words in The New Republic, The Nation, LARB, Pacific Standard, Hazlitt, Gay Magazine, MEL, and elsewhere. https://www.jenniferrbernstein.com/

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