I love that moment when
She realizes and I realize
We each realize the other has wanted to
(Maybe since dinner
Or third period
Or she first saw my profile pic
Or I first saw her across the party)
The first time was in the back-yard
Of a senior center.
The grounds and we were
In formal Spring dress.
Our instruments and our parents and our friends
Probably existed without us
In the glowing distance.
And we rested against, behind a tree,
Less and less able to focus
On talk of friends or Dvorak,
And who would be first chair next Fall.
We are not young for
Fifteen, Twenty, Thirty, Fifty Years.
We are young for about
Five minutes altogether.
We are young for the first times,
The three seconds in which
Her eyes first say yes,
Or our baby first coughs
Or our mom becomes
(it takes just a few seconds)
Feeble in front of us.
The rest of life is just somewhere in the middle,
Like the train-stops between
Here and Home.
In the gym, I watched her
She might have been
Seventy, Eighty, Ninety.
Taking off her coat took with shaking hands.
When her pale quivering legs
Hit the treadmill at
We all watched
In polite horror.
The first blog I ever posted to was the Free Dartmouth. (It’s under politics in my blog list.) The way it went down was: Kumar Garg randomly comes into the Free Press (this was before it was basically just our office) office and says, we need to do some kind of ‘blog. Everyone’s doing this. In some sense this was said. So, I set out to design it, and Laura (who is getting married now?! Dayam) wrote the first post (“Welcome to the first progressive blog at Dartmouth College.”). Years later, some of the awful (and I mean awfully brilliant) things I wrote against Bush and the conservatives at Dartmouth are still preventing me from getting that job in the Obama administration. Which is fine – also, bite me, Google. Your weighting system is heartless and bizarre.
Anyway, now I’m writing about myself, politics, technology and probably other stuff. I want my friends in, too. If you’re interested, please let me know and I’ll add you to the writer list. I’m especially interested in works of short fiction and poetry, which I think just need to be sent into the blogosphere. (Which Apple Spelling thinks is a word – w00t!) I always figured that if an alien race were ever to to find us and judge us, and assuming they didn’t just destroy us immediately having watched the latest season of 24 (oh yeah, I went there), maybe they’d come upon some hint that there is beauty and creativity in the world and refrain from massacre, perhaps just using us as kinky sex-slaves or taxi-drivers.
If that’s what you’re into, read on, brothers and sisters of this only child. Also, comment! It eggs me on like waterboarding.
I know at least a few of my friends are going to be looking at this, so I wanted to start on an up-note. CC introduced me to Pocoyo a few months back, and it’s one of those things you wouldn’t figure out on your own, like how to make tortilla chips or have sex.
There, doesn’t that set things up?
Every episode of Pocoyo is the same – it’s like Two and a Half Men – Pocoyo kind of messes up but it’s okay. He’ll touch something he wasn’t supposed to and knock it down or he’ll be mean. His friends will explain what’s wrong and then he’ll either apologize or it will turn out not to have been such a big deal and he will have, ostensibly, learned his lesson. Either way, almost invariably, he will come out at the end with praise from the narrator, Bravo Pocoyo!
I always hesitated as an educator to sell that kind of lesson. Sometimes things screw up and you don’t have that kind of out. Sometimes your friends aren’t – and you have to really make decisions that are harder and more complicated when you’re not ready to make them.
I have to decide in the next few days how I’m going to fight something that happened to me professionally. I have the support of my co-workers, friends, and even my boss, but I’m still not comfortable with it. Besides wishing I’d kept in touch with that lawyer I dated who handled stuff like this (but she was a terrible shaver – who misses when it’s like, half your leg?), I start to find myself trying to be more selfish. Which is a lot to say for someone who lives like I do, I know.
But the school I helped to found stands to lose for what I stand to win, and it’s an ugly place to be. My co-workers have offered their support beyond anything I could have asked, but what I keep telling them is what I keep having to tell myself – whatever you do to hurt the school hurts the kids who are there. On the other hand, and I do this a lot, I think it’s like Dogville. Maybe. Maybe, I deserve better. Maybe I’ve put so much of myself and my time and my life into this that I shouldn’t walk away without getting exactly what I want. And deserve.
So on Wednesday, I have a meeting that will determine where this goes. I can walk in there and say, You know, do what’s best for the school. Or, I can walk in there and say, You know, you’re going to give me what’s fair, or else I’ll take it. Sure, there’s probably some place in between, but what that is or what it looks like almost doesn’t matter. I wish we could all just sit in a room and talk it over and realize that nothing has to be this way, and budgets don’t matter that much, and lawsuits and jobs.
At the end, maybe it all does come to sweet, friendly nothing. I worked hard, I did what I thought was best, and I was good. Someday, hopefully a good few decades and a wife and kids and a friendly, not-too-small, not-too-slobbery dog away, maybe someone will smile knowingly and reaffirm all that, and this exhausting futile exercise will fade into nothing. Bravo, Pocoyo. Bravo.