Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Guardian Angels Etc.

The plane crash here over the Hudson was truly amazing - the loss of life, that is. Lack thereof, I mean. (Sorry, tuckered out.) Even hypothermia etc. seems minimal, given the frigid temps. A southern queen on the bus was bubbling over because his cousin was on the flight; he'd seen her just last night. "I told her to have a safe trip and then her plane went down!" he said excitedly.

Dined with a dear, solid friend tonight at a tiny, BYOB spot that, even at 7 degrees or so, had a line of impatient would-be diners outside. Sadly, Dan's lady-friend has been a recent casualty of the economy - the second person I know who's been laid off this week - and while she's philosophical and optimistic, the realities of day-to-day living are, of course, no joke. There are, of course, no shortage of invincible summers around, but the rapid maturing of the zeitgeist had better be dramatic to justify the hardship for this many fine people. Some people recommend the reading of War and Peace when in doubt; I'm trying it.

(Why, on Law & Order, is everyone they interview so insolent and preoccupied? I'd be shaking with suggested guilt and the effort to be conscientious if a couple of homicide cops came to my workplace!)

Slim's scared of the cold and, when he ventures out at all, wears multiple pairs of trousers. Today he didn't set foot outside the apartment; we listened to a lot of Doc Watson and ate some scrambled eggs instead...which is living, of a sort.

More on this later, but I'm having a blast (or the quiet, thoughtful equivalent thereof) with the letters of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, which I highly recommend to anyone who likes letters, poetry, good prose, or simply clear thinking. I warn you, it's a powerful incentive to wax epistolary.

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