Wednesday, May 31, 2017


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Monday, May 29, 2017

We went to the graveyard today. Jackie running up the hills to peer into the crypts. I was fascinated by the years on the tombstones. People died young in the 1800s. But every now and again there’d be a woman who lived a long, lonely life, into her late nineties, long after her husband, her siblings, even her kids were gone. It was hard to know whether to envy her or them.

A bugler stood up on a hill and played taps for all the fallen soldiers. Then a children’s orchestra played a program of works by composers who were buried on the premises. Their music, wobbly and a little out of time, drifted through the faint drizzle to fall upon the living and the dead.

Good ones borrow; great ones steal.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day weekend means the start of something new. Everyone finally emerging from social hibernation to be outside with beers in their fists. I associate the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix with this feeling, but for no special reason besides that they happen then I guess. It all makes me feel like anything is possible, like there’s a wide open space just around the corner, and then another just around the next. We used to go to the Memorial Day races at Lime Rock when I was a kid. The squawking of the announcer through the PA, periodically drowned by the roaring cars; the smell of burning oil, grass and grill smoke—this represented a liberation from winter, from home, from school. It was almost June after all, and forget it, school’s out in June. You can just count the days.

In fact any time of the year can have the same significance. September when football starts, when there’s new things on TV. Then the birth of Christ if you’re so inclined, or at least of the appearance of light in the darkness. Then the new year, then the thawing of the ground and the new buds on the trees in spring. And you can go on and on about them all. But fuck it, now’s Memorial Day.

Jackie found a rose petal somewhere on our walk back out of the park.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

There was a lanky man on the couch at the kids’ birthday party. I noticed him for some reason. No special reason. He sprang up and addressed us: were we involved in the sciences at all? He had an idea for an invention, helium-filled balloons that were only half-filled, so they’d hover in the air, immobile. They didn’t even have to be balloons—they could be objects. Ornaments. He wondered why that didn’t exist yet. I agreed. I was supportive. From time to time he spat out a fragment of the corn chips or Cheetos or whatever it was he’d been eating from the snack table. He’d wipe his mouth momentarily, but not self-consciously, and continue. And what about ketchup packets? Why were they so messy? So inefficient? You tear it open, ketchup gets on your fingers. You squeeze it, squeeze it till you’re sick and tired and still there’s a little bit left. A tiny pocket of wasted ketchup. Multiplied by billions. Consider the wasted food. He had a point. Finally there was a lull and I wished him luck and slipped away.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

My F train arrived at 7th Ave on the G side just as a G came in on the F side. No explanation. But people desperately ran out from one train to catch the other, just in case it all meant something.

Everything is settling back into quiet now.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Though these perceptions of cultural history bring us to the