Snow before daylight. Tom's tire tracks in the wet dark. In unlit rooms, the silhouettes of boxes, tall and squat, loom like small cities.
Yesterday Tom measured all of our furniture. This evening, in Portland, he will measure the apartment, and then he will draw a blueprint of the rooms, cut out scale-sized furniture, and play-furnish the apartment. Everywhere we've moved, he's drawn a picture. I find this pattern lovable. But I am the kind of person who never measures anything.
Over the phone yesterday, my older son mentioned my TLS article. His voice sounded skeptical, so at first I thought he was suggesting that I'd misrepresented something. He lives in Chicago with his girlfriend, who is a black woman. They have a different demographic on their minds now, and different fears. But no; he didn't think I'd misrepresented anything. What I'd written was so obvious, he said to me. Do people really need to be told this stuff?
Snow before daylight. I am reading Updike's Rabbit Is Rich and copying out the poems of Lucille Clifton. They make an odd yet tonic pairing.
Thanksgiving is on the horizon. I still don't know where I'll be for Christmas. I can't buy any presents yet because I don't know where to ship them or store them. I dreamed last night that the apartment stairs were filled with Great Danes and greyhounds, hulking and silent under the overhead bulb.
What has he done, he wonders, as he waits to receive the serve, with this life of his more than half over? He was a good boy to his mother and then a good boy to the crowds at basketball games, a good boy to Tothero his old coach, who saw in Rabbit something special. And Ruth saw in him something special too, though she saw it winking out.
--from John Updike, Rabbit Is Rich
have we not been good children
did we not inherit the earth
but you must know all about this
from your own shivering life
--from Lucille Clifton, "1994"