Banned in Boston....I submitted the note below to my 25th reunion notes and
they (the nameless functionaries (though if they did have a name, it would be
Christine Frost)) expurgated the words that appear in red, thus rendering it
harmless but um... incoherent.
As Oscar Wilde famously said, "A poet can survive everything except a misprint."
Or perhaps it was "A poeb can survive everything except a misprint." Anyway
e. E. Cumminks agreed.
I was once talking to an Indian guy on an airplane and the captain
announced some delay over the intercom. I said "*This* wasn't in the
contract." He was puzzled and asked what I meant. I fumbled for a way to
express the thought. "Well if Life came with a contract, there wouldn't be
any mention of this exact problem." He looked quizzical for a moment and I
thought that the concept was too hi-falutin' (or just badly expressed) for
him to grock but then he smiled and said "I think that somewhere in the
Contract of Life there is a clause that says, "If stupid, then everything."
I often think back to that succinct phraseology. "If stupid, then everything."
In May of 2003, I discovered that my safranic wife of 6 years had a very
open view of the 7th commandment (no, that isn't the one about graven
images - basically she thought 'monogamy' was a type of wood). Six weeks
and 3 lawyers later, I was a single dad (to be played by Jason Alexander in
the movie). People of opposite sexes, for example men and women, view
adultery in different ways. To get back in his wife's good graces, a man
will say "But she meant *nothing* to me," whereas a woman will say "But I
*loved* him." Both of these defenses are hopeless from the get-go though it
makes me wonder how it works in gay marriages.
Me personally, I think that one of the worst things you can do to a person
is make them feel ridiculous in their own eyes. Fortunately this is
reasonably rare, as it requires their collusion in their own debasement. As
it turns out, my ex was seeking comfort from other sources even as we had a
year of couples therapy, tried to have a kid and ended up having a
miscarriage. An external person viewing all this from a safe distance (so
as not to get splattered with poop) would think "Jeeze, that guy must feel
ridiculous for having tried so hard," and he wouldn't be far off the mark.
I had a hard time starting over, I expect anyone would - putting myself
again in the position of being judged. I hear myself hearing myself delivering
my patented winsome anecdotes like a dedicated Hindu chanting the Bhagavad
Gita. So anyway. I find myself in Portland, a city of not inconsiderable
charms (nor indeed considerable charms) which contains my beloved daughter, my ex's beau
and her job. In about 10 years, I will shamble forth from this state and endeavor
to engage in the vocation for which God has destined me, which with my luck
is probably spading potatoes on Northern Long Island. No lessons need or should be
drawn. Well perhaps I will indulge myself with a quote from Homer:
"Now from his breast into his eyes the ache
of longing mounted, and he wept at last,
his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms
longed for as the sunwarmed earth is longed for by a swimmer
spent in rough water where his ship went down
under Poseidon's blows, gale winds and tons of sea.
Few men can keep alive through a big surf
to crawl, clotted with brine, on kindly beaches
in joy, in joy, knowing the abyss behind:
and so she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband,
her white arms round him pressed as though forever.
So it was the OPPOSITE of that.