Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chutes and Ladders

I'm in disagreement with some of my maternal relatives, folks from Maine who think that the Beans of Egypt Maine is a depraved book. My grandmother, with her appreciation of elegant things, would sometimes see Carolyn Chute at the grocery store, and speak of her with disgust.

Perhaps because I'm such a huge fan of scrap metal I really liked Lautreneau's Used Auto Parts, because I think it's a big heart that finds the beauty in all that's so scrappy. I'm grateful for such people because they can tolerate someone like me, who wouldn't know the difference between the Blue Onion china my grandmother coveted for years and the knock off you could get a T J Maxx. In a sense, I'm fallen.

We fallen ones have to get very comfortable with disaster I'm afraid. We have to rise against gravity every day, even when lying down seems like a better idea. There was a day last fall when I felt like crap, sinuses congested, brain scrambled. In order to preserve my sense of self respect, I decided to do something useful, I decided to go get the car washed and vacuumed at the Las Vegas Auto Spa. It was beautiful, cleaner than it'd been in years when I exited the car wash, making a left on 19th St. and finding myself colliding with a black volvo station wagon. I pulled over, and so did the other driver. A woman stepped out, and the first thing that surprised me was that she wasn't yelling at me. The woman started eating a cupcake, standing leisurely against the stone wall of the cemetery, tolerating my son who was playing with a stick that kept coming a little too close for comfort.

She ate a cupcake!! I think everyone should keep cupcakes in their cars just in case they get in an accident. That moment may have been worth the several hundred dollars it wound up costing. Especially when I learned that the woman, named Amelia, was married to a man named Orville. Is someone trying to tell me something?

How many ways can you learn the lesson, in order to go up, you have to go down. Now is a good time for me to ponder this puzzle while gazing at Vega, one of the three stars that make up the summer triangle. Unlike Las Vegas, which I believe means "the meadow" in Spanish, the star Vega gets its name from the the arabic word "waqi" which means fallen, even though the star has obviously not fallen, it's hanging right there in the sky.

Maybe it's got a black parachute blending into the cosmos up there, giving it enough drag to keep it in place forever.

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