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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

Vocation

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Tick Tick Boom

Every few days or so, when his loneliness becomes impossible to bear, Rodrigo leaves his Manhattan high school and goes to Central Park. He wanders off the paved roads and makes his way to the secluded, wooded trails, just a few blocks from the housing project in Harlem where he grew up. There he drifts and waits. He might lean against a tree or roam along a trail. Eventually a man will show up.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

February 2012

I need to cut more pages from my upcoming book, so I’m trying to keep in mind William Faulkner’s advice to writers: “You must kill all your darlings.” No more procrastinating over whether a particular Notebook entry deserves a berth or needs to walk the plank.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Real Work

My first day was unbearable, much worse than I could have imagined, a textbook lesson in humility. My strength, stamina, and intelligence — in other words, my superiority — ended up not being worth a bent nail. Stepping onto the job site that first day at 6:45 AM, I had no idea what a hod was, even though the word had been embedded in my family lexicon, seared into my unconscious.

Photography

Latin American Dreams

From 1992 to 2007 Martín Weber photographed hundreds of Latin Americans, each holding a chalkboard on which he had asked them to “write down a wish or a dream you have.” His goal, he says, was to give his subjects added dimension by allowing the viewer a glimpse of their personal stories. In their brief messages we see evidence of economic and political struggles, of human failings and aspirations, of broken hearts and enduring love.

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