I’ve decided that drunken blogging is somewhat akin to balancing a spoon on the end of your nose in public – you rarely succeed and look like a bit of a jackass in the process. Nevertheless, it is 11:38 pm and I find myself blogging while playing a game called Jigsaw World. The purpose of the game is…yes, assembling jigsaw puzzles on your computer. This could only be slightly less numbing than assembling jigsaw puzzles in real life. The only benefit I can see is that I can do the game jigsaw puzzle without taking up space on my already cluttered dining room table. Also, Jigsaw World provides me with lovely pictures, such as an arrangement of berries and cream on fine china.
I now desire delicious berries and cream on fine china.
I find it also entertaining that my typing skills are markedly degraded, but that I still go back and correct all my typos as I type. Once a copyediot, always a copyediot. And, no, that’s not a typo.
On the bright side(hi-yah, cliche), alcohol seems to cure me of my Jane Austen complex, the one that doesn’t let me publish anything unless it’s a shimmering gem of obscure and inexorable beauty. I’m fairly sure this entry will rank low in my Greatest Blog Entries list (if anyone is counting). But that’s okay – I still rank above people who blog when they are out of toothpaste (my pardons if this is you – I promise that I’m captivated by your choice of spearmint).
My father has the journal-ing habit, but he does his on pen and paper, mostly. When he does type them, he still doesn’t publish them online. They are for his eyes alone and maybe sometimes my mom. He shares them with my brothers and me if he thinks we’ll find them interesting. I think sometimes of what it will be like when I have to go through his papers and effects, when he’s gone.
Fifty plus years of journal-ing – a life captured in its complexities and frivolities, its pettiness and its beauties. I’m sure I’ll read of things I’d rather not know, but all in all I will probably find it moving how a human being reaches out to leave a record of its existence.
It only takes a handful of generations to efface all direct memory of a person. It makes me sad that anyone whom I meet now will never know my grandmothers, either of them. They will never know my grandfather, whom I called ‘Pa’. They will listen as I explain how he used to tug on my pigtails and said “Ding, ding, off at Shelby”. I would then have to explain how he rode a streetcar when he was young and they would ring the bell when they reached the ‘Shelby’ stop and say those exact words.
I got to sleep over sometimes and would tuck in with him. Before he fell asleep, he would tell me stories: Once, he and his brother bought a piece of candy. This candy made them fly. He would describe it so realistically, all the people so tiny below, pointing up at them, and I would believe it. To this day, I still sometimes look for that piece of candy that will make me fly.
I will explain these things to people, but they will only ever be abstract. One day, I will be gone, and if I am both memorable and lucky, people will maybe tell stories of their grandmother who had a grandfather who had a piece of candy that made him fly.
[Repost from 12/11/08 -ed]