LAST WEEK WE HAD TO DRIVE from Terre Haute (That’s French for “The gas is the pedal on the right, Dummy.”), up into western Michigan. It wasn’t a bad drive except for the area in and around Indianapolis.
I have driven in major urban areas for years, ranging from New York City, Washington DC and Los Angeles to Boston and San Francisco and I have never seen worse drivers than those in Indianapolis.
And that is saying somethin’!
For some people twenty years can seem to be a very long time. For others it is just a moment ago, still fresh on the senses.
Before I retired I had a client family where the past was there in every second of every day. In 1995 the mother had gone to work one morning and then her world erupted.
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING.
“What the heck is that?”
I grant you that it looks like a photo of some lint that I took with my phone while it was in my pocket. It isn’t. I’ve taken pictures of my lint and it looks better than this.
Courtesy of NASA – This is the first color photograph ever taken of Pluto (you know, that place that used to be a planet) and its moon, Charon. If this a “color” photo I must assume that the colors are black and white.
Ever since early November I’ve been getting a good six to eight hours of sleep a day. Now that is all shot to pieces. Baseball season has started.
I can see you scratching your head and saying to yourself, “What the heck is this idiot blathering about now?” Don’t deny it. I know that is what I would be doing if the blog was on the other foot. Let me explain.
ONE OF THE MAJOR BENEFITS of being married is that you don’t have to be dating. That particular nightmare is over and done with.
We’ve all been through the perils of dating: Dating someone who turned out to be seriously crazy; Dating someone whose idea of a good time involved pain, minor wounds and a tetanus shot (maybe that was just me.); Dating someone who was either too young or too old for you. You should never date someone who doesn’t know any of the same songs you do.
And finally: You should never date outside of your own species. I’m as open minded as the next guy, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
Let me explain.
It was almost noon when Marlee slipped her key into the door lock and heard its reassuring click. She went quickly down the steps onto Haight Street. The early morning breeze had softened. Things were going to get hot.
A steady and growing flow of people was heading up the street toward the Fair. The one block between her apartment at Central Street and Masonic was packed with humanity of all ages and descriptions. If a social scientist wanted a good definition of “diversity,” today on Haight Street was it.
The Masonic stage was hosting a Salsa band called “Baila! Baila!” and dozens of people were following their admonition and dancing up a storm in front of the bandstand.
Marlee joined the spectators watching the dancers. The joyful rhythm soon had her swaying to the music. She closed her eyes and moved her arms in synch with the beat. Marlee was already a big fan of the Haight Street Fair.
As soon as one song ended “Baila! Baila!” blasted off into another frantically danceable tune. The crowd whooped its approval, Marlee included. Her eyes were shining like emeralds in the midday sun.
She couldn’t stand still. The music had her and she started to dance by herself. In mere moments she was joined by a tall, shirtless young man. His skin was as black as the keys on a piano and his body sparkled with sweat. The sun reflected off his shaved head like a flashing coronet. He smiled at Marlee and took her hand and pulled her out into the middle of the street. She joined him, caught up in the unadulterated pleasure of dancing to celebrate the music and life.
The sight of these two contrasting beauties lost in the movement and the music had the onlookers applauding.
Marlee and her unknown partner spun and twirled together as if they had danced this way forever. He expertly led her through intricate moves. His signals gave Marlee all she needed to anticipate his next move and to follow him in a seamless, sensuous harmony. Their hips swayed and rolled, coming together momentarily then flying apart to rejoice in the rhythm. Her hair flew around in counterpoint to her body as she matched the sudden stops and reverses of her sinuous partner.
The music built to a crescendo and he pulled Marlee close as they spun around locked in each other’s arms. At the instant that the music screeched to a halt he slipped one hand down her back and prodded Marlee backward in a very erotic pose. The sudden silence found her looking up into his brown eyes, his lips a bare half inch from hers.
The crowd went wild, cheering and applauding. Even the band looked down and smiled in appreciation.
Her mysterious partner lifted Marlee back upright and in a very courtly gesture kissed her hand.
Marlee’s head was spinning. She looked at him and all she could say was, “Wow!”
She was not heard through the noise, but her smiling co-celebrant nodded and mouthed, “Thank you for the dance, my Dear.”
This was one of those perfect moments that come out of the right time, the right place and the right people to become a memory held forever.
The band started up again and they made eye contact. He gave her an inviting look, but Marlee was out of breath and demurred. He nodded and melted away into the kaleidoscope of dancers.
Marlee had not gone twenty feet into the Fair and was already enchanted. She bought herself an iced tea and found a mailbox to lean against. She needed a few minutes to come back to Earth.
LATELY IT SEEMS that every time I turn on the TV I’m seeing ads for new prescription drugs. For the first ten seconds of the commercial I hear what the drug is for, and then for the next fifty seconds the voiceover races through a list of the side effects. They speak so fast that I can barely understand what is being said, but I could swear that I’ve heard the phrase, “Spontaneous Human Combustion” in there somewhere.
I SAW AN INTERESTING STORY in the News a few days ago. An executive in the Russian railroad industry has floated a proposal suggesting that a highway be built that would run from London to New York City. Not across the Atlantic Ocean – No, but across Asia through Siberia to a nice new bridge across the Bering Strait into Alaska and then across Canada and U.S. territory and into Manhattan in time for dinner.
That is 12,910 miles to you and me.