Writer & IP Attorney
Pa Bliye Haiti
The Write Launch
As we hugged and said good-bye, I asked him what we could do for him. He asked for books and other things to read. But then he made a more direct request.
“Pa bliye,” he insisted, while clutching my hand and tears streamed down his cheek. “Pa bliye. Don’t forget me.”
Four Years in the Desert
The Whiskey Blot
November 21, 2022
Whereas my drinking now involves European lagers and gins filled with botanicals picked by the petite hands of Slovenian children, I was focused on volume in my twenties. I drink in moderation now. I abhor hangovers and dehydration. After graduating from college and moving to Washington, DC, though, I embarked on a period in my life when I was a searching for direction.
One Brick Missing
Across the Margin
July 14, 2022
The news came as a curt text for which my wife later apologized. Denied. My daughter, Madeline, had been rejected by her dream school, the same college my wife and I had attended, Notre Dame.
The message was gracious and even referenced how difficult this was considering that Madeline was a legacy. But it was still a paragraph, and essentially said eighteen years of dreams, late night study sessions, SAT prep work, and countless hours of extra-curricular activities came down to not being good enough. And that was it. Final answer.
Girl in the Doorway
Published on June 27, 2020
A memoir of how a birthday party I attended when I was 8 years old changed my views on race.
“I have a dream that one day … little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Race and money made for an easy roadmap in 1978 Atlanta. It was orderly. The white and black communities knew where to go and not to go. Each knew where to eat, where to shop, where to live, and where to send their kids to school. Against this backdrop, controversy brewed when my classmate, Raquel, delivered invitations to her birthday party.
City of Seven Hills
Published in March, 2022
On the morning of June twenty-third, 1956, however, their family lives were utterly upended. Tony was searching the streets of Yonkers for his daughter, Rosemarie, who’d failed to come home the night before. It was a most unusual occurrence and a cause for concern in that Tony’s cosseted child, who, at twenty-four, still lived at home, led a sheltered life as a parochial school teacher. Accounts at the time in local papers inevitably referred to her as “pretty”, and from the pictures I’ve seen of her, she was. With her mixed Italian-Ukrainian heritage, Rosemarie had high cheekbones, dark hair and a full mouth that wore an innocent, girlish smile. I could also see for myself what everybody else had always said – that she and my mother looked almost alike. My mother was ten when her cousin, Rosemarie, disappeared. It was an event that she has struggled to talk about for the rest of her life, and which deeply influenced her own overprotective parenting style.
Name is a Four-Letter Word
Published on October 27, 2021
A few days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I received a call from an organization that was making blankets for the families of the victims. I was working at the time as trademark counsel for Nintendo and was tasked with offering legal approval of licensing requests. One victim was Noah Pozner, whose family had described him as a Nintendo fan, a brand loyalist even at his young age.
Song of Silence
Kairos Literary Magazine
First Published in December, 2021
In truth, to “live with the monks” had been a goal of mine since I took a seminar in college 20 years before on the subject of Transcendentalism. After reading Self-Reliance, I did not abandon my Catholic faith or trust in authority. I wasn’t radical enough to do that. It did, however, challenge my pre-conceived notions about the power of silent prayer versus the value in Mass. I heeded the advice of Ralph Waldo Emerson that “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind” and pushed myself to hear the voices that only one can hear in solitude, something that has never come easy for me. I found sitting in the silence of my university’s Cathedral and by its pristine lakes more enlightening than the manic ritual of Mass.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."