When people talk about the old and hard ways we came up, it always works around to how you can't miss things that didn't exist. I remember back when a phone call from Dallas to San Francisco cost several dollars. These were the days when you could leave for work with a dollar and pack no lunch and come back home with a quarter. Adding machines weighed 30 pounds and were a series of cams and cogs driven by an electric motor. Skyping was what your father saw in Dick Tracey comic books in the thirties.
Jonsi has a nice post out right about now. About how, despite the frictional situations that all families endure, her family was pretty goddamn normal. Other than an easily overlook-able pissing down the stairs episode.
I love to hear of normal families. I've seen enough of them to know that I would have liked to have lived in one. I started writing this to say I am somewhat envious because I saw enough normality to covet it. But as I tip tapped away, I realize my understanding of normalcy is no less murky now than how I would have understood a UPC code back then.
The closet thing I can remember to good times was that every Saturday we would go grocery shopping. Shopping for the week, but also to make hamburgers later that night. Jackie Gleason would be on and my father would grill the burgers and we would sit in front of the TV and watch his variety show. The one with the June Taylor dancers. Long after the Honeymooner's came and went. I would all but press my nose against the screen and try and imagine myself in the television as the shot skimmed the waters of Miami beach and then flew up in the air just before it crashed.Those were the only good times I can remember. And they didn't last long. It was a thin slice between the Barbarian's last affair and the next. And before her local celebrity status took away any chance of good times forever.
She could have made it up to us. But my father didn't exact that price. No matter how dearly he paid for her freedom.
I think if I was only broken I might be fixable. But there just isn't much there to fix.
There isn't enough of me to send to the mechanic and still run the machine.