I can’t help but wonder how many children that would feed, or educate, or pay health care costs for. How many factories or schools could be kept open. How many college scholarships could be provided. How many roads and bridges repaired.
Maybe if we gave money to the thing that we feel most strongly about, or that actually needs our support, rather than to the person we think will help get us that thing we’d all be better off.
Husband and I had a good laugh over this at dinner tonight, in between random tears over how Billy Collins just seems to know exactly how to say something, just right, at just the right time, right in the middle of talking about something we all know/do/think/feel.
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses good-bye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
Only Daughter: “If I weren’t lucky enough to have you as a mom” (see, already a diplomat, and she’s only 11!), “I would like Kristi” (the mom of two of my piano students), “or Mrs. B_____” (the mom of a friend of hers), “to be my mom.“
Me: “Yeah, they’re probably a bit more cheerful than I am.“
OD: “Ya’ think?“
Long, awkward, silence.
Me: “There are more important things than cheerful.“
Decided that in between 4 hours of teaching and rehearsing this morning and 3.5 hours of teaching this afternoon I would try to replace it online.
Went to the Secretary of State’s website, found this:
Oh, happy day! As I am a U.S. citizen, have a valid Social Security number, and my license has not expired or been cancelled, and is not “enhanced” (whateverthatmeans), so this should be no problem. Maybe I won’t have to try to squeeze in a trip to the DMV in a week during which I am working something like 60 hours.
So I click on the “ExpressSOS” link, and get this:
Do you suppose they’re being ironic?
They don’t actually expect that I’ve written this number down somewhere, do they?