Wednesday, November 23, 2016
A Timely Admonition
Apologies from your none-too-faithful correspondent...
Something about this wretched month has not encouraged me to wax prolix. Partly that's just the kind of stunned apathy into which I have a feeling more than a few of us have sunk; partly it's that I really was (all evidence herein to the contrary) raised to believe that if you don't have something diverting to say, it's better to stay silent, as complaining is rarely as satisfying to a hearer as it is to the complainer.
And lord knows there's fodder for complaint.
I've decided to take to heart the none-too-warming bit of warning, above, provided so kindly by my daily very-early-morning bus (one of two that these days ferries me to Golden Handcuffs, the train system in Our Nation's Capital having more or less completely collapsed, in the slowest-motion sort of way)(And whoops, there goes that complaining again...).
These days, I think we're all watching our steps, one way or another. So many conversations suddenly seem spotted with little potential minefields, and even in such usually ordinary circumstances as, say, one's very-early-morning bus, one finds oneself looking and wondering - who are these people? How is any of this possible? People seem wary and prone to taking offense. In the cube-land that is our offices, voices are hushed and conversations jaggedly cut off at the approach of this colleague or that, one whose outlook isn't clear or, alternately, is far too clear.
The future is as uncertain as our local weather is blustery; I don't think I've ever seen a less inviting November, all sudden changes in temperature and sharp and unforgiving winds. Even the late autumn, early winter sun is pitiless, somehow, all glare and no warmth. I walked a good part of the way home yesterday, past the monuments and over the bridge, out toward the great cemetery where lie so many of the great and the good (always, I remember, however odd it seems, none other than Miss Constance Bennett among them) as well as crowds of the anonymous and utterly forgotten. Everything is ordinary; everything is changed.
And life goes on. Our old dog totters on as well, ever less certain and more faraway. I feel rather likewise, although somehow always busy, too. As this holiday approaches, My Cousin the Architect is flying down, and tomorrow we'll have a gathering of a great portion of the family that's left, My Dear Sister having decided that's she's going to Keep This Family Together, Dammit, however little any one of the rest of us may feel so inclined. I'm playing hooky today, staying home and tidying up for the houseguest, doing my penance at the gym, and making my contribution to tomorrow's festivities. That, perhaps, will raise my spirits; nothing like a highly alcoholic gelatinated salad (in the Truman-era sense of that word, you know) to take one away from the quotidian cares of this low age.