All of this got me thinking of Guillaume Apollinaire, one of my heroes, and his great poem, “Poem Read at the Marriage of Andre Salmon,” which imagines that Paris on Bastille Day is actually dressed out for the nuptials of his old drinking buddy—it was especially apt as one of my own old drinking buddies, Jeff Lewandowski, is getting married and brought a bunch of guys to Baltimore this weekend for a bachelor party. On Saturday afternoon many of those dudes went to do that most American thing: play baseball in Dundalk. But, since playing baseball was one of the ways the world tortured a poor chronically uncoordinated kid when I was young, I was happy when the more nerdy and less athletically inclined among these pals took the more-decadent, European route and went to a stripclub. I’ve always had a soft spot for strippers. When I was 18, a gracious 22-year-old woman, who happened to be both a dancer and a writer, took me under her wing, told me what to read, tried to teach me to write, and took me on the road: She danced, I drove, and we traveled the country from strip club to strip club (way more difficult in the pre-internet days). The dancers were always very kind and lovely to me. So, I feel that it is my duty to go and give some money at the temple of Aphrodite from time to time, and, having been married for 12 years, as long as I don’t spend too much money, my wife doesn’t mind.