As a young child I recall my mother justifying all manner of disasters based on miscommunication, mostly hers, by saying, “Does Macy’s talk to Bloomingdale’s?”
I didn’t care, no one did and the excuse never worked as far as I can tell, and I now know from experience, that of course they talked to each other, and today they are owned by the same corporate overseer.
So why is it that I spent the better part of my day trying to get my old iPhone to speak nicely to my new Samsung phone?
I wasn’t asking much, just to share contacts and photos, but they weren’t having it, no how, now way, not never, so I was left to turn to a mediator, and it pained me to call in Microsoft, but they did have a window on a solution, so they thanks to their outlook got to have the last word.
The question of the day is would you rather be a turtle or a snail, not to be sung to any melody by Paul Simon. Think carefully, for one day the question will have real impact and you will get your answer with a permanence that merits the most careful consideration. Today may or may not be that day. And please note, your choice is snail or turtle, not a land tortoise, so longevity shouldn’t come into play at all. So, yes, it all comes down to this, some child may try and grab you and put you in a glass terrarium and try to make a vegetarian of you or people will moan, seeing your tail and imagine you served with shallots In a small pond of melted butter.
As 33,000 feet, you want the smoothness that experience tells you, the sky will once again deny. Strapped in, you contemplate cursing the gods of travel, but no, they are simply meeting your expectations. Getting this close to heaven was once, she says, a mystical and spiritual experience, but then we transcended all of that with the first step on the lunar surface, overall a small step from one man and a crushing of dreams for all but the great religious cynics of mankind. With clouds below obscuring all you know the sun is mocking, surrounding your dark mood, painting it darker and you begin to hope that the thunderstorm that will greet your arrival can somehow wash away the hesitation of an eternity trapped in a seat on the lowest margins of heaven.
The manatees hide just below the surface sticking up their heads every few minutes, for a breath or to thrill the tourists who watch intently, because it is a thing to do in this part of Florida in winter.
The restaurants in the harbor don’t mind, it draws a crowd and takes pressure off the kitchen, for people waiting for sea mammals do not grow impatient like those waiting for just burgers or an order of fried clams with a side of fries.
The manatees will never understand humans, why they queue up in the sun to eat animals, when the sea provides a free feast for herbivores if you are only willing to immerse yourself in the search for a meal.
It is all to often debated what sets humans apart the other species, and that will not be agreed any time soon (which a cynic would note is one such thing itself).
Freud would claim it is only our ego, our sense of self, which may explain why people are so capable of being self- ish, and I suspect he was certain he was wholly correct but I would give him only partial credit.
It is far simpler than that: record your voice, record a Sandhill crane and play them back and I assure you that you will say you sound nothing like what the recorder heard while the crane will nervously look all around for his unseen kin.
It is an admittedly odd sign of my age that I recall clearly when bathrooms were tiled mostly in monochrome, black and white, and it was a mark of quality when each tile was hexagonal, a hive of ceramic cells, impenetrable.
Now tiles are square or rectangular, come in a rainbow of colors, often intermixed to achieve looks unimaginable back in my youth, and walls a painted with any color you can imagine, not the eighteen shades of white from which my parents had the choice for our new house.
But change can be for the better, and in proof of that you need only look around and see that bathroom fixtures are mostly white, occasionally black, not sickly green or peach, and, thank the gods, no one has avocado appliance these days.
The Good news about rom-coms is that Hollywood (and occasionally Paris, Lisbon and Madrid, but never Berlin) crank them out endlessly, and each contains that grain or two of truth, like salt rubbed in the wound of a failed first marriage, and the balm of the discovery of true and abiding love. The small pail of rom-com truths is easily carried, sometimes off a too strong wind, but it is never enough to build a dune to hold back the waves of emotion that attend the most fragile and passionate of all human relationships. Yet we sit, smile, and watch hoping that this one’s grain is the one that tips the scale ever so slowly in our favor.