Saturday, August 04, 2007
Look At The Machine And Cry
I once sat with my dad watching a documentary about Jim Jones, cult leader extraordinaire. We were at the part where old Jimmy was selling monkeys door to door when my daddy said, Man, I do not think you could get away with that kind of shit today. I agreed, although sometimes kids tried to sell odd stuff -- homemade dog collars came to mind as one of the strangest recent offerings. I, of course, had one even though I had no dog -- the collars looked so lonely and pathetic that I knew I was sunk from the moment I opened the door to the teeny-tiny urchins and their wares. I'm a notorious soft touch; I get this from my dad. I did not get one ounce of his mechanical ability or patience for figuring things out. If something went wrong with a machine, my dad would deduce from a number of possibilities what it might be and fix it. I, on the other hand, look at the machine and cry, beg it to go back to the way it used to be, when things were working, when things were easy. This, surprisingly, has not yielded the results I have desired.
So it's been a long haul without him, three years to the day. A kind person to the core, his favorite gesture was the thumbs up (as opposed to my favorite which some of you might be able to discern without too much effort) and his harshest admonishment was That's not nice. In many ways, I'm not all that recognizable as his daughter -- a person prone to nervousness and fear over everything, worried about my death since the time I knew what it was. But he never worried, merely said he wanted to go out with a bang. And he did, of course, a plane crash in which, I hope, he didn't suffer. One can never know. But I do know that I'll think of him always, especially when I end up buying something I don't need from someone who needs to sell it, knowing it's the right thing to do, that I can always give whatever I don't want away. I'm just hoping that nobody comes to my door with any pet monkeys.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within." James Baldwin
Drinking music suggestion: Mellow Gold Beck
Benedictions and Maledictions