Death has popped up his ugly head twice in the last month, only to watch from his little corner of the room, us on the telephone as we received
the news. Does he have a morbid curiosity? 'Course he does. What else has he got to do? He's like Santy Clause: he can be everywhere instantaneously, & with speed like
that time is relative. In his view, there are giant gaps on his iPhone. He throws the stupid thing across the field, then slips into a basement to observe the effect of some of his
latest handiwork: a couch surfing loner absorbing the news that the girl from high school—the one & only date—died yesterday in a car crash with her new
husband. That only takes a second & Death's off again, with renewed purpose, the latest apple product & updated calendar app.
Head in hands, I sit sick in front of the keyboard. It's not psychological or (shudder)spiritual. Just garden-variety whoo
-hoo-finished-the-last-lick-of-Various/Beethoven/Bach-performances-&-now-you-can-go-collapse. Nobody wants to be stricken, but o, this is so
much better than, say, rehearsing a week before dress, that alto right behind me from the guest chorus coughs on my neck & next morning I have no voice...o gods, I
will trade that for this runny nose anytime.
It's a sorry excuse, but lacking much energy, between naps & soup, like as not my expertly trained fingers will hit alt-d & choose f , &facebook will pop up in my browser's memory—like Toni Tennille did for a couple of months before I figured out how
to delete her—& I'll spend an hour in obsessive pursuit of some bits of news of a personal nature that mean something.
A FB ex-pat living in a pleasant area distant from the hubbub of Paris is still on her post-election rampage to school
us—politically, socially, environmentally, musically, artistically—and I have no objections. It's partly intelligent,
partly hysterical. The people who respond often veer wildly off topic, just so they can get a lick in on something: you get
personal brownie points every time you hijack some one else's post. I've selectively eviscerated strangers who pretend, but
know squat about electric cars; a paragraph dropping acronyms they've never dreamed of & my work is done.
Then there's email. Just now an atheist group dropped me an update regarding their fight to remove a large electrified cross
that has stood up on a hill on public land since ~1930. They haven't got much else to do, so they fixated on this silly thing
probably 10-15 years ago based on the thoroughly valid point that it was knocked down in the late 50's by a storm & when it
was put back up again, whoever did the wiring...well, let's just say, it warn't eggzakly code, thus—come the next wave of
inclements that threaten to topple the lord's burden—nobody is really willing to come anywhere near it, fearing untimely
electrocution for un-cited crimes, or possibly even worse, unchecked conflagration.
Hence the atheist group's encouragement to the local authorities, as well as the utility, toward the dismantlement of
the whole contraption. Based on the premise of separation of church & state—plus the fire hazard of not only there being a
whole bunch of trees, but live wires up close to them—this seems to be a wise route to take. The civil folks takes this under
advisement & the utility shuts off the power. This didn't go down well.
The local Lion's Club met this pragmatic approach over the years with what is called in legal parlance a lawsuit, more or less
repeating to anyone who will listen that for decades the locals have been treated to the sight of this apparition on the hillside at
the time of the Lord's birthday festivities & would be sorely disappointed were it not to continue in this tradition. It was
pointed out that they conveniently left out the long periods of time during which it was pitched at such an angle as to clearly be
un-Christ-like & was about as lit up as a dead firefly. They thought these objections frivolous. They continue to call the counter-suits vengeful, brought purely out of spite against
religiosity. The other side wants what they consider an in-your-face-reminder of Christian hegemony removed from public land.
I just want the atheists to quit calling it hillbilly engineering.