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Showing posts from November, 2006

Hollitorium

There Ought To Be, in My Opinion, and in the opinion of every Right-Minded Citizen of This Great Nation, a one-week moratorium on festivities between holidays. A few days to cleanse the palate, to pack away the decorations, finish the leftovers, and to return to some sort of "normal" before the next wave of celebration. The Hallothanksmas effect smears one occasion into another, leaving the anticipation, the much-vaunted "season", of each holiday not only a bit muddied, but stretched out over too great a time. A two-week buildup whets the appetite and excites the senses; a two-month barrage of indistinct sentiment leaves one weary when the big day finally arrives.

What I'm saying is, the Christmas decorations won't go up 'till Saturday.

In Cars

We needed yellow paper. It was a bit past 10pm and we needed yellow paper. In suburban America, it was a bit past 10pm and we needed yellow paper.

Naturally, we headed out to Wal-mart.

We went the "back way" to avoid construction. Even the "back way" to Wal-mart is six lanes wide. We sat in the left-turn lane as cars rushed past on the right and the left. The three oncoming lanes were busy with cars travelling from the shopping centers beyond the new tollway before us to the neighborhoods behind us. One truck, though, was in a hurry to get to Wal-mart.

It was a Ford F-150 King Ranch Edition, sage green. Such was its hurry that it deemed it necessary to turn into the parking lot from the center lane. For a moment, the small, nondescript black sedan in the right lane went unnoticed. We saw the truck as it was intercepted by the car, its forward motion interrupted by a force that sent it back into its original lane, then into the left lane as its front axle collapsed and…

ret1

Yesterday, I worked from home, performing labor that would scarcely be recognizable as work to a man whose career was spent in a chemical factory. On my way there, after dropping Christina off at school, mom called to let me know he had passed in the night. It's not as if it was unexpected; on the contrary, the only suprise in his declining health was that Grandmom preceeded him in death. I started to calculate how to sort out my schedule to make the inevitable trip back east. I had a pretty clear picture by that evening when mom called again as I stood on the wind-whipped western steps of the Carver Library. She commented slightly cryptically that there wouldn't be a service; for a moment, part of my mind raced to bizarre soap opera/comic book possibilites, while another part readied a quip about checking for a pulse. But it wasn't some dramatic misjudgement. His body has been left to science, I was told. The memorial won't be held until they're done and the ashes…