Monday, February 25, 2008


Going in to work today, everyone around me was dressed in black (I was in brown and blue). The ubiquity of black was pretty amazing--the only variation I saw on my entire walk was one woman in a grey houndstooth overcoat. Weird.

My beggar acquaintance was, indeed, not at his post. I was reminded of an old newspaper vendor I used to pass (and when I say "old," I mean a hard-life, 80+ kind of old...). Of course, when he stopped showing up, it could mean but one thing... Like the old man Bill Murray kept trying to save in Groundhog Day.

And thinking of THAT reminded me of a neighbor I used to visit--an elderly (85+) gentleman, hungry for visitors. I would show up with a daughter or two, we would drink Gallo jug wine (I believe him to have been an alcoholic), talk about World War II (he still had the rifle--and the scar--he had taken from a Japanese soldier...the hard way). He was against war, but otherwise a jolly fellow.

Very sad one day when I was passing his house (which, according to him, he had bought for a song in the Depression when he was a successful salesman) and the decrepit siding had been removed and, clearly, the house was being renovated. Some day, I too will pass that way. I got the shivers. That said, I expect company then: my acquaintance had but two children--overeducated and affluent, neither had chosen to have children so, no grandchildren for my neighbor. That was an influence in my decision to expand my family (of course, the real decision lay with the wife, but you know what I mean).

Spent an interesting weekend with some houseguests--real "go getters," very driven, hard-working (constantly plugged in, taking calls, blackberrying...very annoying); I am concerned for their child (but choose not to expand on that for fear that anonymous bosh may not always be so). I continue to believe my wife and I are doing the right thing--even after my friend and his wife grilled us with regard to our philosophies (I merely point to the results which are, so far, so good). I remain...unconflicted. You should be too.

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