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Author Topic: On This Day: Your History  (Read 71033 times)
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #180 on: March 10, 2023, 12:36:46 AM »

March 10, 1994 That morning I was asked by the Dean of the Honors Program if I’d spend a day mentoring a “gifted” girl who was considering enrolling in our school, and show her around. I said I’d be happy to, and was flattered to be thought of for the role.

In truth, under the surface I was also disturbed by a dream in which I cut off all my hair and walked into our living room holding handfuls of it to show my mom what I’d done, and she said that if I ate my hair it’d migrate back up to my head and be fine again.

I later told Dana about this, and because she had an area of concentration in psychology at her university, she said it sounded like the female version of a Freudian male castration dream, and I said, “Let me get this straight, men have dreams about cutting off their….?”

She said, “Apparently.”

It was that same day I first heard that Disney was going to release what was described as an animated version of Hamlet, with lions playing the parts, and I recoiled at how awful that sounded. It was the first reference to The Lion King, one of my favorite movies, I recall ever hearing.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
Allhallowsday
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Either he's dead or my watch has stopped!


« Reply #181 on: March 10, 2023, 12:42:02 AM »

March 10, 1994 That morning I was asked by the Dean of the Honors Program if I’d spend a day mentoring a “gifted” girl who was considering enrolling in our school, and show her around. I said I’d be happy to, and was flattered to be thought of for the role.

In truth, under the surface I was also disturbed by a dream in which I cut off all my hair and walked into our living room holding handfuls of it to show my mom what I’d done, and she said that if I ate my hair it’d migrate back up to my head and be fine again.
I later told Dana about this, and because she had an area of concentration in psychology at her university, she said it sounded like the female version of a Freudian male castration dream, and I said, “Let me get this straight, men have dreams about cutting off their….?”
She said, “Apparently...”


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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #182 on: March 11, 2023, 12:36:03 AM »

March 11, 1995 What sixteen-year-old me described as “the worst thing” happened, when that evening I went to the hospital with my dad to visit my grandma, who remained comatose after a stroke, and my grandpa was there with her, as he’d been around the clock, and there was this wave of tension in the room, and when my grandpa left and walked toward an elevator, several things happened at once. My dad rose and walked not so much after my grandpa as at him, and my Aunt Christie leapt up and hurried toward the hall and pulled my dad back toward the room, but even as she did my Dad leaned out toward his father and said something I almost could not believe I heard:

“…all those years and now you feel bad about yourself, well f**k you…”

I sat frozen in shock.

The elevator doors stood open on my grandpa looking out volatilely at my dad. He hadn’t lost much to his sixty-five years, and was taller and more muscularly-built than my dad, capable I knew of hiking miles through the woods without rest, clearly he could have thrown a hard punch.

In the car my dad told me he wanted me to know he shouldn’t have behaved that way, but beyond that he didn’t explain anything. He was professionally trusted with a lot of responsibilities, he thought carefully in most situations and was someone who admired the ancient Stoics and what they stood for, and I couldn’t imagine what had brought on his reaction. What I did know was that while my grandpa was wonderful to me, he and my father had a relationship that was strained, but it had never erupted before that I knew of.

Eventually Dana told me everything, like how our grandfather had made an institution of adultery for the entire course of his marriage to our grandmother, cheating on her not only casually in his younger days but later by “keeping women,” a term I had never heard of.  Dana said, “Grandma was old-school Catholic and didn’t believe in divorce.”  She claimed that a lifetime of anger had boiled over in my dad, and that our aunt had stopped what could have been a major fight.
 
In my shock I wondered if there was no limit to the disillusionments life was going to throw at me that year.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #183 on: March 12, 2023, 11:39:25 AM »

March 12, 1995 The weather was absolutely beautiful, but in light of what Dana had told me about our grandfather after the hospital incident the day before, I was too upset to enjoy it. In fact if someone had asked me to name one thing that was going well, I’m not sure I could have. My grandpa was an adulterer, I’d hurt my boyfriend, I’d quit playing tennis on the cusp of making it, my mom had gone away, and my grandma was dying. Even Morrissey might’ve considered all that too depressing to write a song about.

So right on the border of afternoon and evening, just before the alchemy of each would add an indigo glow to the sky, I blindly took off walking, not sure where I was going, but my aimless trek took me into the older part of our city, by some secluded railroad tracks, and standing on a little hillock above the tracks was a crazy boy everyone was leery of, Scott Pepper.

I looked at him, he looked at me, and what could I say but, “What’s going on, Pepper?”

He called out: “Millie!”

Close enough, I thought.

He boasted cheerfully, “I’m going to f**k-up some Toyotas on a train.”

I could have said, hey, I’m outa here, or don’t do that, but instead I listened as he explained that a train carrying new Toyotas was coming along soon from Kentucky like it did every week, and he had a pile of bricks, so did I want to see him shatter some windshields?

In the end I watched while this arch-hood everyone said would wind up dead or in prison threw bricks down at Toyotas sitting in the open on special train cars, and he got lucky a few times, busting through window glass with a noise like gunshots.

After the train passed he turned to me, obviously riding a wave of adrenaline, and asked wasn’t that awesome, but though I couldn’t believe I was saying it, I told him I could have aimed better than he had.

He flashed a crazy-boy grin and said, “Well you should have then, there were plenty of bricks. Come back next week!”

Then the moment out there in the wild went just a little spooky. The sky was abruptly darker than it was light and Pepper said we had better get away from the tracks in case police had been alerted. As we walked he put his arm around me, and the sweaty skin of his forearm touched my neck, and that contact seemed to do something to break the spell of disconnection I’d been feeling, and in a moment of hyper-reality, I realized no one knew where I was, I had just watched a felony being committed, and I was alone with a certifiable loon who was hyper in the wake of his vandalism.

Don’t get me wrong, Pepper hadn’t been doing anything threatening toward me, in fact he told me I was cooler than he’d thought I was, to which I’d answered, “Yes, I’m just full of surprises.”  (Thing was, I heard myself say “full of cirrhosis” a Freudian slip betraying the fact I knew the disease his father was said to have.)

He must not have caught that though, just kept walking with me til we were beyond the woods and back to where sidewalks were, at which point I complimented his powers of destruction, said goodnight….and ran the heck home.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2023, 01:02:08 AM by ER » Logged

What does not kill me makes me stranger.
Alex
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« Reply #184 on: March 12, 2023, 02:07:13 PM »

12th March 2017.

Went out for a walk with Kristi. It was chilly but not too bad. I surprised her by grabbing her hand and licking it. She looked at me non-plussed and I told her I'd just marked her as mine.

12th March 2018.

Ash got to come home. Once we got in, Kristi asked me to go out and pick up a breast pump, which instantly made me incredibly angry. I did not want to leave Ash's side. The wave of rage took me totally by surprise, but I kept control over it. Picked up the pump which cost I think somewhere around £60 or £70 and got used once before Kristi declared she didn't like it and it never got used again.
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But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
Alex
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« Reply #185 on: March 13, 2023, 01:47:52 AM »

13th March 2018.

After having him home overnight, Ash had lost too much weight due to jaundice and had to go back in. He spent the night under a UV light and gave every impression of loving it, lying there like some male model posing. We took it in turns to watch him and make sure the goggles protecting his eyes didn't come off. At about 4 am a nurse came in and told me that I wasn't supposed to be there. I told her I'd been told to come in and be prepared to spend the night. There was a bit of an argument before she stormed off saying she was going to find out if I had special permission to stay. No one previously had said anything about me not being able to stay and she never came back.

13th March 1996.

We all sat around listening to the news in disbelief. This wasn't something that happened here. Some of the older guys were in tears as stories filtered through the news. Even at these dark moments, there were stories of heroism. The surgeon who had been operating on children, looking to save their lives even though his own child had been killed, or the teacher who had been shot several times, dragging herself and some children into a cupboard, where she covered them with her own body to protect them. News reporters tracked down the killer's mother, surprising her at her front door. Even though her son had murdered a class, I still felt for her and that the reporters had crossed a line in their eagerness for a "scoop". My dislike for journalists turned into disgust seeing them and how they reacted. I wondered if they were similarly intruding onto the grief of the parents who had lost their children. Dunblane had always been a quiet, unremarkable town. I'd passed through it a few times on the way to other places. It was just one of those towns that were just there for people to have come from. In under 4 minutes 15 children and a teacher had been killed before the gunman turned one of his weapons on himself.

The laws would change shortly afterwards, restricting gun ownership even further after this and to date, we've never had another mass shooting. Dunblane would later achieve fame for another reason, both Andy and Jamie Murray would achieve fame for their tennis playing. Both had been at the school that day, although neither of them were injured in the attack. Gun clubs and owners protested about the new restrictions but the majority were not in the mood to sacrifice their children just so a few people could play with their toys.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2023, 02:45:59 PM by Alex » Logged

But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #186 on: March 13, 2023, 03:24:50 PM »

March 13, 2020 The plague was coming, and no one seemed ready for it. In our family’s orbit, Tyler’s girlfriend, Kylie----yes, we were also shocked to hear he had a girlfriend---who was pregnant with their son Giovanni, was having Braxton-Hicks contractions at a very bad time to be pregnant at all. Eleven-year-old Daisy, who would soon be separated from us by having to stay put with Tyler and Kylie and Giovanni til the end of shelter in place orders, said when she put her hand on Kylie’s belly, she could feel her muscles pulling tight under her skin. I told Daisy it would be all right, and said I was glad Kylie’s first baby was going to be a boy, since boys seemed notoriously easier to deliver, to which Daisy replied: “You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?” That was my girl!
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #187 on: March 14, 2023, 12:16:06 PM »

March 14, 2021 I visited with Aunt Sarah, my mom’s youngest sister, who, though she only lives across town, I am with far too rarely, and she told me sometimes as a child in Ireland she would see the most beautiful wildflowers growing along a path, but when she’d point them out to her friends, none of them saw the flowers, and always thought she was having them on. She said these events faded as she got older, and stopped entirely when she was a teenager, and I told Sarah maybe she was seeing into the fey realm of Tir na nOg, an ability said to be both a gift and a peril. It’s good sometimes to talk to credible people who have had otherworldly things happen to them, since it reminds me that amid all the bogus sensational claims out there, wondrously odd things do happen, and reality consists of more than the visible spectrum alone.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
Paquita
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« Reply #188 on: March 14, 2023, 09:56:18 PM »

March 14, 2021 I visited with Aunt Sarah, my mom’s youngest sister, who, though she only lives across town, I am with far too rarely, and she told me sometimes as a child in Ireland she would see the most beautiful wildflowers growing along a path, but when she’d point them out to her friends, none of them saw the flowers, and always thought she was having them on. She said these events faded as she got older, and stopped entirely when she was a teenager, and I told Sarah maybe she was seeing into the fey realm of Tir na nOg, an ability said to be both a gift and a peril. It’s good sometimes to talk to credible people who have had otherworldly things happen to them, since it reminds me that amid all the bogus sensational claims out there, wondrously odd things do happen, and reality consists of more than the visible spectrum alone.

OMG the same thing happened to me when I was little!  Except it wasn’t in Ireland, it was in Chicago.  I used to see big tall bright flowers on the far end of my backyard.  They were so pretty, almost cartoon-like.  Every time I’d see them I would want to go get my mom to show her, but by the time she’d come, they would be gone.  I was so tempted to go closer to them, but something made me feel very cautious.


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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #189 on: March 14, 2023, 09:57:16 PM »

Isn't that something?  Smile I think things like that are so amazingly wonderful. I envy you and Sarah.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #190 on: March 15, 2023, 12:25:46 AM »

March 15, 1995 After school that day, the notorious Ides of March, I lost yet another chess match against my father. I’d never beaten him in chess, not once, not ever, never really come close, though I could hold my own against most casual players. It wasn’t that he was highly competitive to the point he set out to destroy his kid in a game, it was just that he was so unusually intelligent and had such a strategist’s mind that he could think far ahead of me as he set about honoring my request that he never “let me win.” Plus, you know, that day, well, whatever, I was in no danger of ending his streak. He was a standout basketball player in his time, good enough to have gone on to play in college had he not taken other paths, but when we’d shoot hoops together in games like Horse, or Around the World, I would win a lot of the time, but I was barely a challenge in chess. My mom didn’t like gambling, so I didn’t learn to play poker til after she left that same winter, and I started playing it a lot, eventually also against my dad, and he was good at it too, but poker’s more random nature evened us up at least to where I could take him maybe a third of the time---he read people with an almost preternatural deftness—and later in the evening as I thought back to that particular afternoon and how jolting it was to come home then of all days to him waiting with a chess board, I wondered how it would have gone if instead of asking me to play chess, he’d have requested poker. It may been interesting, since I was already trying to bluff him.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #191 on: March 16, 2023, 08:13:44 AM »

March 16:
1994: Gina and I watched The Breakfast Club, that to my mind delivered the questionable message that conforming to social standards was more important than being yourself.
1996: Went ziplining in Gatlinburg during spring break with Charlotte Sometimes and my dad.
1997: While Brian was waiting for me to finish braiding my hair before we went to see Private Parts, (he won the coin toss), I was hit by the belated realization that Beetlejuice had probably been lying about that whole “attended Julliard” thing.
2005: Went to my global cooking class, and while covering northern Italian cuisine I paired up with a girl who told me her friend had blown himself up while making meth the night before.
2008 On Palm Sunday Mom and I saw a Passion Play, and I was wrapped in a warm bubble of joy because Landon and I had just found out we were going to have a baby, someone we wouldn’t meet for months but already loved.
2012: Saw a stage production of Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and was disappointed to learn it was not about sausage.
2015: My cousin Adam was forced to leave Brazil as an “undesirable foreign person” after his Brazilian-born wife Hilma divorced him for a long list of reasons.
2020: Amid draconian Covid regulations, Tyler’s son Giovanni was born, though I wouldn’t get to meet him for weeks.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #192 on: March 17, 2023, 09:06:03 AM »

March 17, 1993 It was Saint Patrick’s Day, and it snowed a slushy inch, filling emergency rooms around the city with drunks who’d slipped and fallen on various breakable body parts. I wore a shamrock pin so no wisenheimer could pinch me, and came home to write to my favorite college student up in Michigan, telling him he was right in recommending I read Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates’ re-imagination of Chappaquiddick, told from the victim’s perspective. (Such a bad way to die!)

He’d also motivated me to read Peter Straub’s If You Could See Me Now, and John Fowles The Collector, both of which did mind-freaks on me. In one novel a murdered girl (my age!) returned to have her revenge, in the other some psycho-nerd kidnaps a girl who is the object of his twisted devotion. Right down my alley!

Fortunately Brian’s picks were almost always good, and I got into authors I might otherwise never have heard of, but it was like he had his own private book club, membership one, and anything he said was worth reading I’d go out and get.

“Evelyn, I think you’d like Flannery O’Connor.”

“I’m on it, Bri!”

Ah, to be a teenage bibliophile in love….
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #193 on: March 18, 2023, 12:22:57 AM »

March 18, 1996 We had a Nigerian priest preside at my school’s morning Mass, and in his homily he told us about the ethnic cleansing of Christians in the rural east of his country, where Islamists wanted to create a fundamentalist state. He said he lived each day there in fear but would be going home that summer determined he would not let violence frighten him away. He spoke of how fortunate we were to live in a country where people could worship as they chose without being killed for their expressions of conscience. This made an impression on me, and that night I asked several people to explain why relative tolerance has mostly been a feature of life in the United States. Answers varied, but somehow I wondered if simple prosperity might’ve bred a contentment which translated into Americans lacking those motivations that drove impoverished Nigerians with little to cling to except a religious identity, to kill others who were different from them. I still don’t know the answer, but I’ve often wondered about that Nigerian priest, and if he remained all right when he went back to his homeland.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #194 on: March 18, 2023, 11:41:27 PM »

March 19, 2001 My dog Charlotte Sometimes died. She was a true friend, a selfless soul, and I miss her very much. It seems like dogs spend their lives loving us and trying their best to make us happy, and I have always felt bad I wasn’t with her when she died, and always imagined she waited for me for as long as she could, missing me, and wondering why I wasn't there. Working for the people I did has cost me time with more than one loved one. It has cost me irreplaceable things.
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