2015, the year i figured out how much coffee i should drink
I drink a lot more coffee than I used to, though on balance it’s still not that much: 2.5 cups a day is, for me, just about perfect. (I persist in under- and over-shooting.) Taking the first sip is the most consistent ritual I perform, and it feels like spirituality in a way I thought I’d forgotten how to feel; to be less elliptical, I remembered/realized how much I enjoy stability. It’s not overrated.
A lot of shit happened this year. But mostly I got a cool job and met some wonderful people and did some writing I liked. The hits:
- “A Reporter Leaves His Beat” (New Republic)
This was the New Republic’s eulogy for David Carr. We stayed at the office late to finish it — at one point, there were six editors in the document working at the same time. By the end of the night, we’d finished a bottle of bourbon and come up with a remembrance I’m proud to have worked on.
- “Mornings After You” (Adult)
I wrote about mornings after going home with someone for the first time; it went okay.
As a writing project, it was interesting to be able to let go so fully: I’d never written about sex before, and I got to write the way I wanted to. ¯\(´o｀)/¯
- “Everything Comes From Somewhere” (The Believer)
I reviewed a book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, and finally wrote about my time taking care of monkeys at a biomedical research facility a few years ago. The piece is about how humanity is doomed.
- “How to Live Within a Black Body” (New Republic)
I reviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates’s last book, Between the World and Me. It was affecting, brutal, and short—doubly traumatic, too, because it came during another deadly summer for black people in America.
- “Life as Player One” (New Republic)
I reviewed Michael Clune’s excellent book, Gamelife, and wrote about the spiritual side of gaming.
- “Get Up, Stand Up” (Wired)
My first magazine feature, about how the #BlackLivesMatter movement uses technology to organize.
- “Rebel Without a Pause” (New Republic)
My profile of Killer Mike, and the (mainstream) return of the politically engaged rapper.
I wrote some other stuff this year that I really enjoyed—a year in reading, an essay for a graphic novel, some thoughts on the most/least important things that happened this year—but I think the most important stuff that happened, between cups of coffee, isn’t written down. Or, more accurately, isn’t published anywhere but in my sent folders and inboxes. The most insightful writing is done in private, I think.