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William Eaton has a great new site. I encourage you to check it out, especially if you love the essay, love brevity, and especially love them together.


February 1999

[A note to newcomers and return visitors to this piece: Why is this piece far and away the most viewed of all the pieces on this site?  I am curious.  Comments are more than welcome.]

One fall afternoon I was changing my clothes at the Y next to an elderly man. He had a pair of flip-flops for going to the showers and the pool, and I had been looking to buy a new pair ever since my last one had come apart a few months earlier. I asked the man where he had bought his flip-flops. He wouldn’t tell me. It was clear he did not like divulging such personal information to a man he didn’t know who was changing his clothes right next to him.

He did say, however, that flip-flops are much easier to find in stores in the summer, and for…

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