Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Across the aisle she sat upright, unwillingly stiff-necked. About her head and neck a halo of scaffolding protruded: she body-turned to glance around the silverware-clinking room. A fall down stairs, the top of which glowered a cowardly, darkly handsome, football-playing boyfriend. A screech of brakes, a shatter of glass, now feeling the car hood cool against an enflamed cheek. The highest bars, hands chalk dried, bouncing slightly as body pulls into old familiar motions, but one unfamiliar, a slip and a too-weak grip.
Behind the wheel six hours every day he sits, thinking of dogs and beach-combing. Married young an age ago, still loving her the same; but times have changed. A dot-com company heavily invested at son’s behest, they seemed the next big thing… Until 2000. A lifetime of odd jobs, six children and fifteen grandchildren through college leaving little for an RV. Careful careful, knowing history is bound to be repeated, saving in gold the fruits of fifteen-hour days that leave no time to spend.
Frizzed gray hair always troublesome, wondering if the class cared for the subject, she struggled through the first day. A long flight from home with a husband and a car, a tenuous job with good prospects. Flee troubled school atmosphere of hopeless students, downtrodden professors, a new start. A chance closer to old family’s last years to renew withered ties maybe slipping money-earning in as well.
Harried eyes daren’t glance down the people-long-line switchbacking through drab a pock-ceilinged room, fruitless end of a hurried morning’s dressing and empty tube ride: “What is your purpose visiting?” only to hear endless droned answers. A child sleeping night-rays glancing through tiny grubby windows, illuminating the thin face for which he works. A road of houses mirrored each by each one door, green not white, opens before lightening of skies each morning. A young wife asleep peaceful, jarring dissonance between her waking self; the endless Americans an escape from sorrowful marriage-bed.
Round raindrops break on glass, brushed away in a haste of safety-seeing. Interior of the taxi reeks of smoke-covering air freshener; four fares slide in, coldly dripping. A college education in physics not yet paid for in usefulness, debts gnawing hungrily demanding he find any work at all. A love of people and road-patience combine to drive each day away fastly. A bottle too-often emptied for angry boss; too late, get out, try a new life not here.
“I hate to trouble you,” a hundred times each word clipped, precise, educated. Clean clothes relax people but not enough to enlarge the cash-wad in hand. A supplement to weak clerkly pay, hard-earned and too meager to feed three wailing motherless children. A habit to keep from the wife’s eager financial eyes needs satiating through secret paying-for. A bad market to sell himself in and students less poor than claimed: not begging as much as surviving.
Whatever writing style I use, I chose it. End vignettes.
In my life: not much. I’ve been thinking on 1 John 2:28, which says He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. Thus the argument is: a) God is love; b) Not-love is not-God; c) A person cannot not-love and still know God. I think that’s right (a rather circular argument). Thus I ask this: If God is love, and a person does not know God, then can that person know love? Is everything outside of knowing God lust, or at least a less meaningful feeling/action? (I realize not all love is erotic, and therefore not all love can be lustful.)
Another question I’ve been asking myself often is how it is possible to remain friends with people you neither see nor hear from on an even remotely regular basis. If so, since that seems to rule out a painful, quiet fading-away, when do friendships end? The only way I know some people is through other people – “I hear tell So-and-so did X,” but I never see So-and-so; or maybe I read a blog or infrequently-updated web site in the vain hope to glean some bit of… I don’t know what. Reassurance? God made us for friendships, but even ones I would have considered most stable have either died or are on their deathbeds.
At least I always have God and Ian. And my computer.
– KF –