My Wobbly Bicycle, 155

Posted by on Oct 4, 2018 | 0 comments

I’m writing this while watching people swim laps, which is what I wish I were doing. I’ve brought Jerry to walk in the warm therapy pool. I am not allowed to swim for at least two weeks. I’m having some pain, but not much. Tylenol works. And ice.


When I got home from the hospital after my meniscus surgery, I lay on the sofa for two days, knee iced ten minutes out of every hour. When you’re on drugs, that all seems pretty floaty and wonderful, like a warm pool. I watched the Kavanaugh hearings. Correction. I’d missed Christine Blasey Ford’s interview, so I was watching Kavanaugh. Correction. I was watching Christine Blasey Ford on my phone, held directly in the path of the TV on which Kavanaugh was performing. I would switch back and forth. Both of these in my vision. Everything is in the world. More than I knew. The culture, as many have said before me, is popping open like a big hunky boil, spewing pent-up, infectious vitriol everywhere.


So was my childhood a lie? Those fifties in which we were all “alike,” all white, all middle-class, except for those who weren’t, the ones we prayed for and gave money to. Those fifties that were bordered by our border, that were only mildly interested in what happened out there. Out there was so far away. Ignorance Were Us.


I can trace a whole lifetime of my own ignorance, what it got me. It’s hard for me to see the me of me back then, getting pulled in destructive directions, over and over.  I don’t regret my past, but I am often sad for it, for me. Likewise, I suspect America is feeling at last what was not felt, so that’s not all bad.


I do wonder what we’re missing. What’s under the surface, still. What IS the surface, do pray? There are so many surfaces, so many screens, glittering in the light so that all we’re seeing is reflection.


We’re fiercely dredging up what we didn’t see. I just read that Purdue Pharma, who developed OxyContin and convinced doctors that it was not addictive, has now received a patent for a new drug to treat the addiction. All this and more.


I used to think people got wiser as they got older. No I didn’t. That’s knee-jerk. I looked at my parents and grandparents. Some of them seemed smart, but not wise. Wikipedia says wise is possessing experience, knowledge, good judgment. The first two are easy. You can’t avoid experience. And you’re bound to learn stuff over a lifetime. The third is the stickler.


Judgment according to whom? I think about my “decision” to get married when I was 17. Who can say that wasn’t good judgment? When I hold a microscope to the moment of choice, I can’t find one. There was my DNA, and an evolution of myriad events that depended on breaking events, a soup that oriented me one way, and not another. I could no more “decide” than the man in the moon, as my mother would have said.


TV is amazing. I try to think what it was like before we could watch people, live, in action, from afar. TV allows me to see the slow shift, or lack of it, of the Senate committee members’ minds. I see their vulnerability, their fear, their ignorance, their hiding, their bravery. When my eyes are on both screens, my little phone screen and the TV’s, there is the full range, living color, not villain and hero, but the thousand tiny glances, movements, word choices, that make up what is simply the case. What to “do” about it will come, I’m guessing, the same way. Bit by bit, evolving.



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