What’s Up

When I drive to school every morning, I pass an abandoned building that has been spray painted, with an X and then one stroke of a second X, and I wonder, is that fifteen?

Yesterday I chatted for a moment with an old man. I have done this a million times, and had lovely conversations about art, politics, families. This time I asked about his book, and he said, “It’s good, but it makes me kind of dizzy. Not as dizzy as the Clintons make me, though.”

And things deteriorated further as I tried to keep a neutral face, and consider that if he had a patient listener, he might not send anthrax in the mail or some such.

With a group of teachers, we drove around and delivered some swag to students. A bit of happy surprise for them, on a day they were not at school.

On one street, two rather bedraggled white people conducted their deal as if the director had told them, “The audience needs to SEE the baggie AND the drugs.”

I talked with a man from Zimbabwe this week. He said he wished he could take my English out of my head and install it in his, and looking back, I think, it sounds wonderful to have some of my brain removed.

I am teaching English as a second, third, fourth, or fifth language. We’ve had some comedy about the difference between pronouncing “peach” and “bitch,” including me trying to explain that you can only say “bitch” at a dog show, which is, admittedly, a rare language usage occasion, one I haven’t experienced… ever.

A week or so later, a kid wrote a word on his palm and showed it to me. “Yeah, you can’t say that, either,” I told him.

Something about turning 45 has caused me to consider all the things I thought would be cool to have in my house, around the age of 8. So now I browse grandfather clocks, although I don’t really want to own a clock. At least I am staying strong on not having a bubble gum machine.

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