Separately Combined

Pardon the interruption. It’s the long, silent interruption. It’s the unnecessary and sometimes questionable silence. For comparison: This is the type of the silence experienced when out to dinner with someone, and the other is not talking. Without having an idea what on what to say, the best response is shrugging shoulders.

You, the reader, are the one asking questions while I idly sit there, staring at the mashed potatoes on the plate. Will they be smooth or chunky? Will there be too much garlic?

While I debate life’s other important questions, here are some pictures to fill the void. Some may look familiar — as they should — and some may have alternate takes. Others are new.

Like silence and talking, there is a balance of photos and text. However, the balance is not perfect.


Aside breathing, it’s an afternoon of reading.
When I’m not facing the page, I’m staring up into the sky.
No matter if there are words or aesthetics in front of me,
my eyes focus.

(Below is an alternate take.)



May 28, 2016
This evening proves there are many central New Yorkers on the same page.
Or is it: We’re on the same wavelength. Whichever it is…
Whenever there is something remotely or uniquely positive, we’re going to capture it.
We want it.
Sunsets may be a common thing, but they are similar to snowflakes —
each is different and special in its own way.


May 28, 2016
This shot was taken before the previous picture.
The view caught my eye, and I immediately thought photo opportunity.
Yes, I should take a photo.
I stopped the car, drove in reverse and returned to the view.
(This is on a side and secluded street.)

I debated between keeping the shot above or going with the one below.
I love both, and — spoiler alert — had to keep both.
To keep the two-picture gallery distinct, the above picture was posted to social media.



This is Oliver.
He’s appeared on the blog before.
We just finished up the entire season of Sherlock.
He’s excitable, and he accidentally breaks things.
He kicks his water bowl around, so I’ve kept it in the shower,
because of traction on the floor.
(And who cares if he makes a mess — drain.)
He was being extremely photogenic, but
there was some objection to this picture.


The two photos above pertain to the same book.
I recently came across another article by author Adam Gopnik.
The article found, of course, was in The New Yorker.
(He often contributes.)
The notion dawned on me: Hey, this book of his
I have yet to finish it.
I restarted from the beginning. The page above called out to me.


Looking out into a parking lot on a rainy night.
The overhead light keeps flickering.
Yes, this should be known.
It helps with set the scene.


A shot of shop Vintage Love.
201 E. Jefferson St., Syracuse.
Beautiful. Unique. Eclectic. Spontaneous.
Thoughtful. Creative. Calming. Zen.
Centered. Grounded. Rustic. Chic.

I was walking by, on S. Warren, when I saw co-owner Shauna and husband Ray.
Long story short, we were all on our way to the same event that night:
Hear and see George Saunders for
the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series season closer.


I got a hard copy of his commencement speech on kindness.
It seemed necessary, and things are more easily read on paper.

He spoke about covering politics, which irked some patrons.
Opinions were known in the post-talk walk to the exit.
This didn’t bother us.
I could listen to Saunders read instructions on how to assemble a bicycle,
still admire the guy and still be entertained.
My first interaction with the guy was in 2003. My lit professor brought him in.
I blabbed it. Saunders remembered the moment.
“Oh, wow. So you know Ritchie,” he said.
“Yeah, It’s been a while, and I doubt he’d remember me,” I said.

I had to think of something instead of being overpowered by awe,
being silent,
staring one of my favorite authors with my vacant eyes.
I didn’t talk about the time he accidentally took my tea,
and then he gave it to me.
That’d be dumb to lead in or exit with.
That tea incident in the bookstore was my moment of staring blankly,
not saying anything,
and then kicking myself repeatedly for not saying anything.


I’ve purchased two things from Vintage Love.
The first was a Bow Tie candle (soy)
called Driftwood and Glitter.
The first time I ever bought anything
referencing glitter.
(There isn’t glitter on the candle.)
The second:
This poster by SarahKnightDesign out of Rochester.
It’s a hearty reminder of my city and the people I share it with.
I’ve walked all of the streets, and I’ve spent plenty of time on each.
There is never too much time spent.
Just like life, moments or words,
some things should be framed for reflection
like a trophy.

2 thoughts on “Separately Combined

  1. Nice photos. Just wondering if you received the notebook of letters. USPS tracking says it was delivered last Thursday. Too terrible to think it was lost after all these years. Please drop me an email. Thanks!

  2. Good to see all these takes of you, Christopher Malone. Your name came up on my screen while I was accomplishing a task in my new job at the library. It made me smile. Too long, we having a together moment here in our Salt City. Hey, that great Armory Square poster designed by a Rochester firm, though awesome, hit me as a too-darn-bad situation. Shoulda been a Syracuse creation. Hope you are well.

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