Monday, August 9, 2010

"Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learned."
Izaak Walton, born August 9, 1593

Oh, August, how you call to mind an old friend whose birthday's today, my folks' wedding anniversary, my grandmother's birthday [same as Napoleon Bonaparte's]; state fairs (sawdust, corn dogs, sweat, the brown eyes of cows, and orange pop). Getting ready for one of my weddings, back when Nixon was in office (sewing a gown out of white cotton from the Ben Franklin Store, 59¢ a yard). It was the 9th of August - 36 years ago? Can it be? - that Nixon resigned his job, his resentments catching up with him at last.
Going through catalogues, planning back-to-school wardrobes, knowing that only kids from rich families could have all they wanted and the only people who had money and children were the Kennedys. My 11-year-old self planned an entire house, its furnishings and major appliances, all for my imaginary family, my husband and our three children. Took me a while, too long of a while to realize that the wealthy were not likely to do their shopping out of catalogues from Sears and 'Monkey' Wards.
Dreading, anticipating a new school year when all would be better. This year I'd have friends. I'd understand math. Now it's This year I'll finish that manuscript. I'll, by god, knock off this squashy business around my middle. Soon it will be cool again - of that, at least, I am certain.

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