Daughter said that some guy had asked her to homecoming.
I stood there dumbfounded while the back of my mind processed two things:
1. How fast this all happened
2. The amount of labor required to dig a hole in the backyard.
I asked when Homecoming was, so I knew whether I needed to get started right away. Not under the swingset; that would be too symbolic. Of course, there's no grass there, so sod wouldn't stand out.
As it turns out she said no, so nothing to worry about. Stopping by the hardware store tomorrow for a new spade, just in case.
I kid! I kid! It didn't seem to happen fast at all. I was stepping out of the shower Thursday as I do every day, reached for the towel as I do every morning for the last 13 years we've lived here, and of course thought of 9/11, how I caught the strange confusing news on the shower radio. Went downstairs to a place that's pretty much the same, except for the plants, the size of the TV, the quality of the tech (I had to plug my MacBook into the phone jack, which meant no one could call), the microwave and dishwasher and fridge, the dog, the height of the trees outside, the existence of the great cathedral elms down the block, the masthead on the paper, and a million other details I can summon up just by checking the archive video.
But it's still the same. As am I, I suppose. I know more about a few things I didn't then, have seen many more places, learned a new hobby or two. Wife, likewise. The child is different, having gone through all those stages one by one, year by year, season by season, growing up. STOP GROWING UP PLEASE
It was cold yesterday. In winters past I'd make hot chocolate when she got home from school; I'd see the bus go up the street and get out the cocoa. Now there's after-school activities, no bus, late arrival, homework. When she got home we talked about the wicked chill, how fall had better not be like this from now on. She mentioned she liked the cozy smell of the house when the radiators were on, though. It was familiar and friendly and made you think of the autumnal mood, all those gauzy memories of golden afternoons and foggy morns.
"Want some hot chocolate?"
Her face lit up.
Today after school I asked if anyone had discussed 9/11. Nope. Not the kids, which was no surprise; not the teachers. Which was no surprise.
Perhaps that’s for the best, since forcing reverence on 9th graders doesn’t work, and I don’t trust the teachers to state the events and the motivations and the character of the bad actors with the honesty required. There’s no substitute for experience, as they say, and either the kids will have their own event or they won’t. If it’s the former then 9/11 will be no more than the flash of lightning you see before you feel the thunder hit you in the gut. And if it’s the latter then it fades, and becomes a date, just another day on earth, something that makes your parents change expressions. It’s a long war far away with parades. No soldier kissing a nurse in Times Square when the double-tap on Japan put THE END up on the screen.
That was a war with bookends. There are no more wars with bookends, if there ever really was; WW1 begat WW2, WW2 shifted into the Cold War, the Cold War, it turns out, only took a smoke break before turning into another long wearying novel about Russia’s psychological maladjustment, and so on. But there are dates; bombs fall, flags are hoisted, walls tumble, leaders flee. Perhaps it’s best that we don’t look for a date this time. The End usually means we adopt a new set of delusions, and those are usually dashed quite quickly.
No more of those, next time.
Just another day.
For some reason I always thought that Brian Eno's song "Another Day on Earth" was a veiled comment on 9/11, that one day it would cease to have meaning. "Oh, it's just another day on earth It's just another day on earth One day, we will put it all behind We'll say that was just another time."
Went to a lyrics page, where there's one comment:
My admittedly subjective interpretation of this song is that it is Eno’s prediction of humanity’s eventual reaction to 9/11. Melancholy and ironic...and singularly beautiful.
Eventual, yes. I can understand the truth in the assertion, but I can't dismiss the feeling that he wanted to hasten the day, and would be glad that it was so.
That aside - and I'm not going to give up Eno for his politics - this tremulous floating number, with its strange strained processed vocals, is what I like to play sometimes when the plane takes off.
Up there nothing matters. Except returning back to Earth.
It's been a while, and since it's Friday EVERYTHING MUST GO. Hanging around in the folders were some Judge Judy snaps, because . . . like nearly every episode, the same woman is in the audience. Everyone changes. But her.
Always watching. Always a little sad it had to come to this.
Never changes expression.
Insert explanation here; I'm too beat.
CND Cue #457 Busybody industriousness, intended for situations that are hectic but not unpleasant. I’ve played it before, but this time . . .
CND Cue #458 . . . it ends!
CND Cue #459 Music to consult Dr. Spock by. I don't think the composer's heart was in this one.
CND Cue #460 Every time I hear this I think it should be in a Steamboat-Willie era cartoon.
CND Cue #461 It's been a while since we heard the Chord of Domestic Ease.
CND Cue #462 With this chipper generic chipperness, we end the week!
Another miserable CBS radio promotion.
These are just excruciating.
And now to Friday. I used to spend Friday night laying out the week to come. At some point I thought it would be nice to get the updates done before the week began, so I’d write all of those on Friday and Saturday. Then I thought it would be cool to get a head start, so I started laying it out a few days ahead, then more, until the sidebar updates were done by Tuesday. Really. Then I thought it would be nice to do the below-the-fold copy in advance as well.
Somehow the process accelerated, and I have the next two weeks all written and laid out, and tomorrow will start on the first week of October.