In observance of the Boston Marathon bombings, which took place one year ago today, I am linking three things I wrote about it, in order of their publication, by which a narrative of subsequent events may be told.

Finish Line, of the bombings that day; The Brothers Tsarnaev, as political implication; and Great Here of Dzhokhar’s capture.

My parents—as if to get further away from their only child, or to stretch out his loyalty in paying visits—moved deeper inland, the air more voiceless and arid, into a “luxurious resort community” whose eligible residents must be over fifty-five and somewhat loaded. I shy from disclosing any more details about their whereabouts, out of fear that some of my more mentally deranged followers will kidnap me hold me for ransom (my father has a handful of diamond-studded Rolex watches that he might consider exchanging for my head). I now invite those who think I suffer from paranoia, which is basically disappointed narcissism, to imagine me discovering the sidewalks perfectly incremented with outdoor speakers rendered to look like rocks, and to imagine such discreet rocks emitting Michael Bolton’s greatest hits. When a man loves a woman, he impregnates her with his demon seed, which is what my father did so long ago. If love is merely lust with jealousy, then guilt is that with regret. I travel to them by train, often yet not often enough, it feels, a heavy book on my lap. If The Castle is a Kafkian nightmare, this may be his inconsolable nocturnal emission. At the clubhouse, likewise situated atop a grand hill, I order shrimp pasta and verbally “bill it” to my father’s account, simply by uttering his name. In such fashion, I then have five cocktails and stumble home, in near darkness, save the sidewalk lamps guiding my way back. Michael Bolton, his eyes squinting into a void we all share, continues a shallow song born of love, despite, or perhaps in spite of, his sole remaining listener.

My parents—as if to get further away from their only child, or to stretch out his loyalty in paying visits—moved deeper inland, the air more voiceless and arid, into a “luxurious resort community” whose eligible residents must be over fifty-five and somewhat loaded. I shy from disclosing any more details about their whereabouts, out of fear that some of my more mentally deranged followers will kidnap me hold me for ransom (my father has a handful of diamond-studded Rolex watches that he might consider exchanging for my head). I now invite those who think I suffer from paranoia, which is basically disappointed narcissism, to imagine me discovering the sidewalks perfectly incremented with outdoor speakers rendered to look like rocks, and to imagine such discreet rocks emitting Michael Bolton’s greatest hits. When a man loves a woman, he impregnates her with his demon seed, which is what my father did so long ago. If love is merely lust with jealousy, then guilt is that with regret. I travel to them by train, often yet not often enough, it feels, a heavy book on my lap. If The Castle is a Kafkian nightmare, this may be his inconsolable nocturnal emission. At the clubhouse, likewise situated atop a grand hill, I order shrimp pasta and verbally “bill it” to my father’s account, simply by uttering his name. In such fashion, I then have five cocktails and stumble home, in near darkness, save the sidewalk lamps guiding my way back. Michael Bolton, his eyes squinting into a void we all share, continues a shallow song born of love, despite, or perhaps in spite of, his sole remaining listener.

When Kelsey Grammer, who played Dr. Frasier Crane in Cheers, was condemned to such portrayal in its spin-off Frasier — the eponymous latter flying our newly divorced from Boston, Massachusetts to his hometown Seattle, Washington (whose perennial hang out Café Nervosa seemed eerily similar, unsurprisingly, to Starbucks) — one wonders if he, i.e. the carnal self of Kelsey Grammer, sentient of his mortality, was spiritually ready to feign one more decade-long patronage, as Frasier, to yet another fictional establishment. One wonders if Kelsey was actually served the implied beverages, perhaps non-alcoholic and decaf, out of modesty. I’ve always enjoyed the unrealistically eager facial expressions of television extras, always bent towards gross amicability. It was D.F. Wallace, in Infinite Jest, who considered the figurant, television extras whose “surreally mute background presences […] revealed that the camera, like any eye, has a perceptual corner, a triage of who’s important enough to be seen and heard versus just seen,” using Cheers as an example, citing a hypothetical situation in which a drunken patron, feeling ignored, might have made a rowdy bid for attention, to which the stars of the show would have had to apply restraints, e.g. the Heineken Maneuver. If television is the product placement of humanity, perhaps selling our species to alien investors, then our brand begins in miniature, and flattened on a screen. I too, at bars and cafés, docilely clasp my hands on the counter or table, in some kind of tense prayer, or secret handshake with myself. I may be waiting to die, or just for my next line.

When Kelsey Grammer, who played Dr. Frasier Crane in Cheers, was condemned to such portrayal in its spin-off Frasier — the eponymous latter flying our newly divorced from Boston, Massachusetts to his hometown Seattle, Washington (whose perennial hang out Café Nervosa seemed eerily similar, unsurprisingly, to Starbucks) — one wonders if he, i.e. the carnal self of Kelsey Grammer, sentient of his mortality, was spiritually ready to feign one more decade-long patronage, as Frasier, to yet another fictional establishment. One wonders if Kelsey was actually served the implied beverages, perhaps non-alcoholic and decaf, out of modesty. I’ve always enjoyed the unrealistically eager facial expressions of television extras, always bent towards gross amicability. It was D.F. Wallace, in Infinite Jest, who considered the figurant, television extras whose “surreally mute background presences […] revealed that the camera, like any eye, has a perceptual corner, a triage of who’s important enough to be seen and heard versus just seen,” using Cheers as an example, citing a hypothetical situation in which a drunken patron, feeling ignored, might have made a rowdy bid for attention, to which the stars of the show would have had to apply restraints, e.g. the Heineken Maneuver. If television is the product placement of humanity, perhaps selling our species to alien investors, then our brand begins in miniature, and flattened on a screen. I too, at bars and cafés, docilely clasp my hands on the counter or table, in some kind of tense prayer, or secret handshake with myself. I may be waiting to die, or just for my next line.