My birthday today. Number 36. I think I am more concerned with last night's lost hour. Grumble. It isn't saying much to suggest getting rid of the whole antiquated system. But maybe there's value in it. Admittedly, I am charmed by the inefficacy of the idea, of managing light. Maybe our sun has the same designs on us. That idea starts to make some sense.
I've been reading some Sherlock Holmes, which I never really have done before. There is something ridiculously perfect in the creation: rather than attempting to hide exposition, to dress it up in the clothes of chit chat, the stories instead mine its pleasures. Add in thick dollops of fog, rainy nights, tobacco smoke, and Holmes' ever epic ego, and you have something fun, lasting.
Yesterday, after stepping off the train, I saw an older man holding the elevator for me. He carried two plastic sacks of indistinct groceries and waved me in. I thanked him.
"Goddamn wheelchair," he muttered, looking straight ahead as we were lifted to the street. I glanced at him, noticing how ragged, how gone to seed he looked. How he sounded.
I didn't say anything. Pretended I couldn't hear.
"Goddamn wheelchair," he repeated and now was looking at me. "My wife is in a wheelchair."
"Oh," I replied, trying to be both noncommittal and faintly empathetic at the same time.
"I want her to be able to get up out of that wheelchair," he choked as the elevator doors began to slide open. "Shit."
I began to exit, leaving him to be, well, not private with his grief, as he seemed incapable, but at least alone.
"Thank you," I said. "Have a great day."
One More Theory About Happiness, my memoir, hurtles toward publication in May. It's a little strange. A recent Amazon reader review sounds concern over usage of "the f-bomb" while also applauding the "graduate-level vocabulary." I have long aspired to literate vulgarity and to have attained it leaves me feeling, well, totally fucking stoked.