Monday, January 17, 2011

Status: Statis, Maudlin

In half an hour I'm off to bury an aunt, my mom's sister. This is not a cause for sadness or gladness: she disappeared into Alzheimer's years ago, but there's this: she is the first of my parents' generation to die. That is not a cause for sadness or gladness, but it is cause for reflection: my mom and her sister's father was a steel worker in the dying Mon Valley, my dad's dad was a coal-miner in a dying Fayette County, and they - my mom and dad, my aunt and uncle - got the hell out of dead-end western Pennysylvania, moved to burgeoning suburban DC, and had kids whose generation seemed promised the next progressive step in what we now consider an at best derailed but probably always fraudulent American dream.

This is umptillionth time I've humped this theme, but my aargh is not for my fat and comfortable complicit ass but for my almost eighteen year old daughter (from whom I withhold my darkest aargh - rightly or wrongly, I think she needs discover her own ballast of aargh) who will be my age in 2043, and what the fuck world will that be?


  1. Perspective.

    You have a home, a job, and a car. Your water and electricity are almost always working, and you can actually drink the water. You have never really been hungry. Armed thugs don't break into your house to rape your females. Spend a couple of hours in Dharavi or Makoko or Kibera, then reflect on the American dream. I would say that it is alive and well - even in western PA.

    2043? Maybe not so much. There is a reason that I made a conscious decision to not breed, not so sure why others continue to do so.

  2. See, we're in agreement.

    Was over quick, by eleven, then went to Olive Garden for lunch where I got to talk to Wayne for an hour. I always liked Wayne - remember digging for brachiopods and trilobites?

  3. Condolences. Funerals are a time for us to contemplate our own mortality; grief is an emotional recognition of loss; loss is a foretaste of death. There's bound to be a poem in there somewhere. It's not for nothing that my first novel involves the euthanasia of the protagonist's mother.

    We are at the stage of life where this is what happens to the generation ahead of us. My wife and I have been dealing with these issues the last couple of years. We're next, in the normal course. Our kids actually do become adults.

  4. El-ric Sev-en! (clap-clap-clap-clap-clap)

    Sorrows to your mom, both of you'uns. Fuck west of Susquehanna/I-81-south-from-Hburg line, and Fuck The Steelers almost most of all (Elric knows). But sorrows to my other mother, to be sure.