I have been pretty overwhelmed by life and responsibility.
Then, as if from on high (ok, via cell phone), comes a booming voice:
“I read your blogs. I have a few comments: Schmuck, you are 50. Count them, I will wait. [No waiting time] Ok, I will bottom-line it for you. 50 years old. Are you going to spend the next decade in the dumps? Because your father will live that long. You know he will —”
“But,” trying to get in a word, “there was AROB and ULOB and —-“
“Done. They are gone. It is hard to clean up after people who are dead. But you are not hurting them by selling their stuff and doing whatever you have to do. It is a job.”
Pause. I am trying hard not to shriek, “You don’t f&^*ing understand! It has been toooooo much these past two years!!!” But I didn’t.
I did seethe, however. And think about my martyrdom. I felt sooooo self-righteous. And then I remembered I was Jewish and there is no sainthood.
And, then, I thought: Really, [Blogger]? Are you kidding me?
Do ya read the newspapers? [NOW, I am calling myself, schmuck.]
I stopped. Mostly because I exhausted myself, even without uttering a word. And, I was letting stuff get me down which, if I stopped for a little perspective, is hard but so life-affirming. I was getting stuck in a quagmire of details and legal issues and I forgot to be grateful for the lives my elders lived and my part in making those lives happy and secure at the most vulnerable times.
But, perspective can be tiresome and short-lived, especially if one is a self-indulgent, overly-consumptive New Yorker. (Oops, that would be I.)
Still, even I couldn’t shake the idea that I need to think differently about a situation that isn’t going to change (until the BIG change). Saturday was such a sunny beautiful day that it was hard to feel sad.
I decided walking to Dad’s house for lunch (at the you-know-where) was just the thing to put me in a good mood.
I walked the three or so miles there, through the city streets and Central Park.
It didn’t start out so well.
I heard a woman ranting at her boyfriend (possibly fiancé) about how much money he gives to his dead-beat dad. The man didn’t even utter a word. She just kept on responding to his unspoken answers.
I wanted to scream. Oh, please, shut up. Did you ask what he gets out of it and what pain he avoids by doing this, even though you say he doesn’t want to give his dad money?
I heard two joggers disagree about whether helmets save lives.
Ok, thought for the day: it may or it may not, but what the hell, wear it. I couldn’t hurt.
OK, this walk in the Park thing is — how shall I say it — no walk in the park.
Then, I heard one biker, who apparently had been cut off by another biker, yell, “Youw mothah is a man!!!” [English translation: your mother is quite unattractive.]
So unexpected in a City where, in fact, his mother could have transitioned from, or to, a man. Such a throwback comment, ripped right from the urban playground where we born-and-bred New Yorkers cut our teeth in the 1960s and 70s.
I don’t know why, but I laughed so hard. Maybe because it was a different kind of nostalgia — ludicrous one and so out-dated. And the laughter made the sun felt brighter and warmer. And I hummed all the way to Dad’s house, even skipping a little.
I think I will try to walk to Dad’s as many times as I can.