I feel like I ought to be living in Texas again for everything, they say, is bigger in Texas, and you don’t argue with a Texan.
So much in my life is bigger now, a computer monitor that would pass for a moderate sized TV, with font so large a single page fills the screen, and the tablet the size of, but thank God not the weight of, a phone book, (if you are under 30, look it up), to read books and news since libraries don’t carry large print books (look that up too, probably) at least not books of poetry.
But thanks to modern materials science the lenses in my glasses don’t yet look like Mr. Magoo’s (yup, one more thing to look up,) at least not yet.
The news, online and on paper, is replete with stories about adult children moving back in with their parents, whether because of the pandemic, or other circumstances, always expecting they will have a room at the ready.
Perhaps it is why we chose to have no spare rooms, sort of a preemptive strike against an ill-conceived return.
But as my cohort ages, I wonder if all too soon those news sources online, since papers will likely be gone, will feature stories about older parents moving in with their children, rooms available or not.
It is strange knowing that your vision is not what it was, not what you want it to be, not necessarily yours in the long run, one eye already semi-useless for reading and distance.
You adapt, get bigger monitors, a tablet to read the news, a magnifier when you need to hold newsprint in hand, a large screen television (okay, you wanted that regrdless of your vision).
You realize so many songs you once sung (badly) will no longer make sense, goodbye “I Can See for Miles,” and no more Johnny Nash, “I’m looking through you,” nope, and “If I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” U2 will just have to find it for me.
you can drink bad beer when it’s free, you can’t cram for finals on caffeine alone, you can watch Star Trek episodes for the nth time, you can make spaghetti sauce out of ketchup, Naval ROTC cadets make great radio engineers, even the news director gets free LPs, mescaline is not advised for exam pep, 0.98 GPA requires negotiation to remain, English can be an accidental major.
A short list of my college missed learning:
fail calculus if you never go to class formal organic chemistry, not self-applied, not reading any Chaucer before writing the final paper grad schools look at GPA, not just GRE, sleeping through morning classes not a good strategy, Medieval history is boring, Symbolic logic is anything but.
Conclusion: Got the diploma so parents money well invested.classes
The most interesting thing about visiting websites from foreign news services is that so many offer content in English and how deaths that occur locally seem to invoke the same sadness, horror, belated honor, and that local disasters take precedence over our own disasters not merely because it happened there and not here, but because the losses are greater, the damage far worse, the faces far less white. We hold the world up to the mirror often, but is only our face we see, and those like us standing behind, and we are blind to so much of what goes on around us, because this color blindness is of the sort that disables seeing at all rather than seeing all in monochrome.
You never know how the news will arrive you are just certain of its arrival. You know it on some level, even as the event is happening, but that doesn’t blunt the piercing tip of the blade that finds the soft spot in you and cuts deeply. You hoped for a miracle for her, for her son, her husband, for those who knew her gentle smile, warm compassion, cutting wit, when the situation demanded. She was a friend who would appear when needed most and slip away when the need began to dissipate. The news came today, the hole is fresh and you can only attempt to fill it with memories, knowing even as it seems again full as do so many others as you age, when you step into it you will plunge back into the well of loss and again struggled to find the sun hiding in a too often darkening sky.
This morning absolutely nothing happened. The newswires were silent, or repeated old stories. The sports wires had nothing of note to say, save repeating yesterday’s scores. Even the gossip news was absent, as though a Saturday night passed without embarrassment. I did not mind the quiet, the almost silence, able to listen to the Mockingbird’s song. But I did wonder how the wrecking ball in Washington so badly overslept.