Thursday, April 27, 2017
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Electric Boogaloo

Christopher Eaton Archive

Christopher Eaton

A Decent Interval

October 23rd, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO-

My wife and I have been together long enough that what should be between us in bed is a decent interval.

I can appreciate that “early on,” couples might want to engage in touching. Even at the risk of children. But at some point, personal space needs to be allowed back into the sleeping arrangement.

Many couples resort to a dog to reestablish spouse-free zones in bed, only to find themselves later united against the dog.

Our problem began with my wife’s ass. It’s a nice ass—during the day. At night, though, it is transformed into a marauder, conquering the linen expanse of our shared bed, relentlessly seeking out warmth. You see, my wife sleeps cold, while I sleep hot. And once my wife falls asleep, she gets colder. That’s when her ass takes over.

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Christopher Eaton

Taking the Waters

October 1st, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO-

Recently I visited a friend staying at the Four Seasons Chicago. This was a new experience for me. I usually stay at hotels where “room service” is code for “vending machine.” Among the things you can have sent to your room, free of charge, at the Four Seasons are: a humidifier, a thermometer, the bellhop (shaven and bound), and a loaner swimming suit. This last item intrigued me. I imagined the concierge forcing a lifeguard to strip so I could go swimming.

When the swimsuit arrived, I was disappointed to discover it was just a pair of men’s trunks in my size. Apparently, someone expected me to actually go swimming.

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Christopher Eaton

A Thousand Words: Home Again, Home Again

September 5th, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO, IL -

I don’t remember the first house I grew up in, though I have mental pictures of it from stories my parents tell. I know that it had a skylight. A school maintenance man climbed through it one chill New England day to rescue my locked-out family. New Hampshire houses weren’t locked in those days, so no one carried latch keys—inconvenient given that my toddler fingers were testing their new-found dexterity on deadbolts. Having denied my family entry, I sat in the kitchen, crying over the burned dinner and all the other heated activity I had set in motion.

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Christopher Eaton

Dressed for the Occasion

August 30th, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO, IL-

Growing up in New England, the winter season was always reliably white. Snow thick and rolling on the hills, limning the streets, topping every traffic light with a nightcap. It has colored memories of my childhood: snow angels, ice sculptures, toboggan runs, rimed windows, white-dusted trees, icicled eaves, snowmen with the obligatory carrot marking the front.

Since Mom believed strongly in the restorative powers of outdoor play, I spent part of everyday outside, even in winter. Equipping myself for the rigors of winter recreation meant encasing my frame in layers of cotton, wool, rubber, and nylon.

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Christopher Eaton

Invisible

August 22nd, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO, IL-

In Darkness Visible, William Styron wrote evocatively of his depression during a time in his life when he was being honored for his work. The shame and sham of accepting a literature award when he felt so defective is painful to read about.

But Rose Styron, his wife, wrote her own essay recalling the same period of time, and hers is the more telling account. In her story, her husband was merely human, not a fallen colossus.

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Christopher Eaton

New England Blood

August 15th, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO, IL-

There’s something in the blood of the New England-born that understands the ways and words of the grandfathers without ever having lived the older life. The first time I saw a horse-drawn hay mower, an open-seated trap with a saw-toothed blade, I knew it for what it was. With its low bench and raised side mower trundling closely behind two large horses, for me this was a hay mower. My Texas-bred wife just stared in quiet wonder as the nose of the pelagic beast passed us by.

My father remembers his family hiring a man to come cut their hay with such a machine. This was in farmland Maine during the Depression, so it’s not surprising that the 19th century should have found ready employment. (more…)