Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What is the Color when Black is Burned?

It's interesting to me how we revisit our parents upon our children, accidentally and incidentally. I was stopping in the local grocery whose name is the non-gerund form of that word plus shop and it's odd what a difference a week makes. This time last week with a decent flatboat and a strong crew at the oars ('put yer backs into it lads!') you could rocket through the parking lot without stopping, and couldn't because all the shops were closed while the Yantic River angrily tried to reclaim lost territory.

As the waters receded they left the parking area a muddy mess that in the days since has dried to create dust devils whenever the wind swirls across the pavement. It leaves a fine coating on your car and doesn't care if that makes you angry because you just washed it (you with the Escalade pick-up, I heard you use at three Bozo no-nos, though nothing original; and pardon me, what exactly is the point of a Cadillac truck?) and you have just the slightest grit across your teeth (and that's why they invited toothbrushes. Why aren't they teethbrushes? I brush all of mine at the same time).

I don't circle the lot looking for a spot-do you know people like that? They always make me smile. If they have a passenger I'll bet they're tempted to have them get out and stand in front of the sliding doors holding them wide open to see if the vehicle will pass through them into the store. That would be cool, would it not?

There was an auto-mat at the U-Bahn haltestelle (Sara, you remember the word ohne podcast) at Eschenheimer Tor that was very popular with a certain crowd after hours. They'd (almost typed we'd) feed it all of their kleine geld and buy candy bars and crisps as much for the delight of watching the mechanical arm swoop down and grab the item to then drop it into the dispensing drawer as out of hunger. There's a drive-through in Willimantic that has an amazing assortment, especially for those who are easily distracted.

A mom and a small child of three, maybe four, I'm not really sure (I used to be an expert on small children, being in the biz and having two myself and all, but those days are decades ago) but I think he was a boy, were heading towards the entrance. The mom was going over in her head her grocery list while he was skittering to keep up with her. Our moms did it to us--they are holding the child's left hand with their right hand. Due to manufacturing difficulties, the child's hand and arm come just barely to the top of his head--Mom's hand and arm reach only to mid-thigh so one of the two is on tiptoes at high speed where ever we go.

I hailed the woman and pushed a cart from the corral towards her and offered it to her for the child. She glared for just a moment and then relented as she picked him up and put him in the seat and, I watched, buckled him in. In twenty years when you see a young man walking down the street NOT dragging his left hand on the ground, that's the toddler I helped out today. Go ahead and wave, he'll be able wave back and both arms will be the same length.
-bill kenny

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