On the 27th of May in the Year of our Most Gracious Lord Two-thousand and sixteen, I and my long-time girlfriend did the deed of legality and finally got married. We got hitched. We attached balls and chains to each other. We stopped living in the sin of fornication.
Now, when I say “long-time girlfriend”, I’m not just whistling Dixie. Sixteen years long-time. A decade and a half plus change long-time. Practically a third of our lives long-time. That in itself is a major commitment.
The chain of events on how we finally put pen to paper should be expounded upon, as it serves for a laugh. (For those of our intimates, the story is very emblematic of who we are.)
If you haven’t read this piece in the New York Times, then drop what you’re doing (which I know is reading my essay) and go read it. Done? OK, let’s continue. (For all my problems with The Times, I keep up my subscription for pieces like this.)
Much like Gabriel Rockhill, I had a very intimate relationship with mortality as a child. I wasn’t exposed to death. No one close to me died. But death was omnipresent. Perhaps it was my Catholic upbringing. Jesus crucified, dying for our sins. When you grow up in a religion where death is the central founding act, the fact of death tends to impinge on your thinking.
More stuff is in the works for the blog. (Lotsa ideas for essays, compadres.) But first, enjoy this fuck-bomb laced tirade at what is going to be the major cash cow of the summer, Pixels. Proving that I should probably call Netflix and have them quarantine any of my monthly dues from going to their deal with Adam Sandler. Enjoy!
It’s been my contention that grad school prepares you for NOTHING you encounter as a public librarian. Academic librarian, sure. Archivist, without a doubt. But none of the “working in a public library” classes which I took could have steeled me for what I’ve experienced. (And, I wasn’t even planning to work in a public library. I had every intention of selling out and working in private industry. Sadly, Lehman Bros. decided to blow up the economy right as I graduated, so the kibosh was put on that grand plan.)
Most of my patrons are lovely, well-balanced people. Some are raving fruitcakes. And then some seem well-balanced and lovely, and then they do something which leaves you in slack-jawed stupefaction. In the first of a series I’ve helpfully entitled Annals in “WTH Were You Thinking??”, I present “Potty training.”
I’ve seen him at the freeway entrance on my way home from work for a couple of weeks. His sign reads “Homeless, hungry, please help.” I carry cash in my car, but the timing has never worked out correctly for me to give him a little something.
It finally—barely—did. I waved him over, before the light changed, and gave him a couple of bucks. He smiled, said “God bless you”, and took the money. Then from the sidewalk he smiled again and again said “Bless you.” I smiled back.
There were maybe twenty cars lined up waiting to get onto the freeway, and I was the only one who reached out to this man and gave him money. I’m not judging them. Humans are a varied lot. And I’m not holding myself out as a paragon of virtue. As with most people, I have faults that t’would be better had my mother not borne me.
But, I’ve lived 46 years on this earth. And I’ve learned a few things. I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago. I would hope I wouldn’t be.
Many would see my act of charity as contributing to the problem. If you enable them, they won’t get the help they need. You’re just putting a band-aid on the problem. You’re just making things worse.
He could use the money to buy drugs. He could use the money to get drunk. Those are possibilities. I don’t know him.
But I don’t need to know him.
(Cross-posted on The Obama Diary.)
For the dead, we say, “Amen”. And for the living.
There are too many dead, and the living are riven.
Every day, a new horror, a new loss of innocence,
And the night-dimmed tide swallows us.
There is no innocence; this is a fallen world,
And men of evil revel in destruction.
When is it enough? It’s never enough.
Violence has an army of reasons,
And peace seems to be an idea
Honored more in the breach than the observance.
This is not your heritage; it is evil.
This is not your freedom; it is slavery.
Do that which you would have done unto you;
Flee from that which is harmful to all.
The answer is there, to be teased out
Of life, hard life, the only life we have.
Remember the dead, for they speak from the earth,
Pleading, “Let us not be in vain.”