Wednesday, July 31, 2002

I Can't Think of Anything to Write...

For those of you who don't know, Scott Vice, passed away last week. His funeral is this weekend. I am quite numb and angry and emotional in every way. I ache inside at his loss, and the thought of how precarious life is, and how I need to begin to tell the people around me how I love them... how all the bickering and pettiness is bullshit and so insignificant that it makes me sick... It doesn't matter who did what to whom or who said what... I want to begin again. Everything forgotten. Except a special guy who didn't have to leave us all so fucking soon.

Too bad it took this for me to put everything in perspective.

The Things You Keep

Some things you keep. Like good teeth. Warm coats. Bald husbands. They're good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to throw them away would make the garbage man a thief. So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new, and what you know is often better than a stranger. These are my thoughts, they make me sound old, old and tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that's new and improved in their lives. New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars. The world is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but don't think I want to. I grew up in the fifties with practical parents - a mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it - and still does. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. They weren't poor, my parents, they were just satisfied. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt and Mom in a housedress, lawnmower in one's hand, dishtowel in the other's. It was a time for fixing things - a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things you keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more.

But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any 'more.' Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.

So, while you have it, it's best to love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. That's true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents. You keep them because they're worth it, because you're worth it. Some things you keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate you grew up with, there's just some things that make life important....people you know are special....and you KEEP them close!


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