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More Delights and Disdains . . .
of a diminutive nature of late . . . Number 9
Taking my second ride in the past four weeks in a tow truck. This after picking up drug samples at my neurologists office and discovering that my truck would not start. I was only gone for ten minutes and the truck was running fine when I parked it. So frustrating . . . and it happened on the hottest day of the year.
Changing health insurance providers. Need I say more? Actually yes. Here’s a word of advice: Avoid changing health insurance providers during the same month that your covered child turns 18 especially if your child (now adult child) uses medications only available through a speciality pharmacy. Throw in that the new insurance refuses to cover some of my Parkinson’s meds and well . . .
Riding in the front seat of yet another tow truck with a chatty and heavily tattooed driver, steering wheel in his right hand, lit cigarette in his left, open Mountain Dew bottle between his legs, death metal playing on the radio and him telling me his life story as we grind through heavy traffic on the way to my nephews’ auto repair shop.
Visiting with my nephews at their shop. Like my brother, his sons are great story tellers and the humor there is never lacking. They have numerous mechanics in their employ and have developed a reputation over the past ten years of excellent customer service which accounts for them having no lack of work. Plus, they put up with me and my odd assortment of vehicles - all of us showing our age.
Hearing from my niece that her son (my grand-nephew) did very well at the recent U.S. Junior Men’s Gymnastics competition out in San Jose. As I understand it, he made the level 10 team (I think? It is so confusing). His mother is probably the best athlete among my many nieces and nephews, so he comes by it honestly.
Reading my local weekly newspaper. I have said before that I miss newspapers. They are portable, don’t require charging and can be used to screen oneself from unexpected encounters. When opened in the presence of others, they project a superficial first impression. When finished, they can be rolled up to swat at various wasps, bees, children, or cats. Try that with your smartphone.
Finding among my stacks of books, my copy of a 2015 poetry collection by Patrick Phillips entitled an Elegy for a Broken Machine. A modern memento mori, his collection encompasses remembrances of life with his father and his sons in simple and straightforward verse reminding us that we all must take our turn to die.
The following is a favorite of mine from this collection. . .
The Shoebox Hades
His little Lego arms outstretched, Aeneas stares across the Styx, watching his clay father fade into a cotton-ball’s white mist. What is there to say? I love it. I cup my son’s soft neck, and peer with him into its depths until the teacher bellows Parents!— which means it’s time It’s time kiddo for her to take by his small wrist the boy who clings to me like death, as if he knows: it is no myth.