Regardless of where you’re at in proximity to the Trump train, I find it hard to believe that one can be a human who enjoys living on a planet unscorched by nuclear winter and also be comfortable with The Donald being the only thing that sits between us and a nuke-off with North Korea. It turns out that all those military advisers he has around him — all the adults in the room who are supposed to put his mind at ease — were surprised to hear his ” fire and fury” threat, so there’s that.
If the fire and fury come, I’d like to have on record all the things I will miss — it will be flawed and incomplete, and I’ll remember new things every time I read it because a full accounting of such things is an impossible task. But these represent for me the very real — some dynamic, some banal, all adored — things I’ll miss should we not wake up someday soon, thanks to the arrogance of these cocksure fools.
— Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
— Getting to know strangers.
— Being with old friends.
— Maine weather, July to October.
— Hearing Mainers say “Must be nice” and “Hard tellin’.”
— Night swimming.
— The point in every other episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” in which a guest recalls the older sibling or friend who introduced to their younger selves interesting music, movies and literature.
— Small towns.
— Krista’s homefries (Cornish, Maine).
— Laughter generally.
— Portland, Maine: One fine food town.
— The feeling of elation that comes with seeing friends and family succeed.
— Dancing badly.
— Allagash White.
— Following exploration of the White Mountains with a beer and nachos at Moat Mountain.
— What’s left of civility.
— What’s left of the natural world.
— The adoration of a dog.
— Those people who, when you walk by them with your dog, quietly and excitedly shriek “puppy!”
— Life changing art, painting and photography.
— Great comedy.
— Decent comedy.
— Even some bad comedy.
— The smell of most women’s hair.
— Puppy breath.
— Record stores.
— Book stores.
— Stationery stores.
— The boundless passion and optimism of youth.
— Envying that youth.
— Fearing getting talked to on a plane, getting talked to on a plane, and leaving conversations with your perspective changed.
— Riding bikes in the fall.
— The feeling that follows a day of hard work.
— Amateur philosophizing with friends over dinner or drinks.
— Kennebunkport during Christmas.
— Old-school hip hop.
— The Misfits.
— New York in the summer. Even heat and transportation woes unite the citizens in misery.
— Portland’s music scene and all of its beautiful weirdos and quirkiness.
— Bangor’s hang-ups about being a totally cool, grown-up city that is as interesting, if not more interesting, than Portland.
— Answering my daughter’s many, many, many questions.
— “ Ghostbusters.”
— All of the books.
— Finding out whatever the hell the Infinity Stones drama is in these Marvel movies.
— Getting weird, even though I’m a grown man, around people I believe to be exponentially cooler or tougher than me.
— That brilliant scene in “ Boogie Nights” when Mark Wahlberg stares blankly at the camera for 43 seconds.
— All of Robert Altman’s movies — even the bad ones.
— Los Angeles, the greatest, strangest and most vain city in these United States.
— Sam James’ music and writing.
— Running down roads and seeing families of deer in the distance.
— My wife’s quirky sense of humor.
— Watching her play softball.
— The weird Calvinist spirit of Northern New England.
— Live music.
— “ Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” the greatest independent film ever made.
— Living in a place so beautiful and attractive in all ways that other people come to it to vacation.
— The United States Constitution.
— Cold-brew coffee.
— The American tension between collectivism and individualism.
— The rewarding challenges of being vulnerable.
Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was a teenager. He’s an owner-partner of a Portland-based content production company and lives with his family, dogs and garden in Westbrook.