A late dispatch from the New York correspondent- by G. Keiler
[editors note: I thought this was interesting but If it aligns with some political ideology or some shite I did not pay any attention- I just enjoyed the strong writing style.] (and did not edit this).
Written by: Garrison Keiler
A chilly night in New York, fall in the air, geese winging along a flyway over West 91st, a lively crowd watching a playground basketball game. Unusual in these pandemic days, to hear a cheering crowd.
We’ve been isolating here since March, avoiding the dread virus, leading a life more like that of a lighthouse keeper than a New Yorker, no plays, no Fauré or Bizet or cabaret, – though Sunday we sat in a sidewalk café and had a cassoulet, a small soirée, just three of us, me and the Missus and our friend Suzanne whom I like to hang out with because she’s older than I and very lively.
She is proof that aging, though likely to be fatal, need not be dull. Gusts of talk, none of it touching on the Unmentionable. I’m fond of fall, the beauty and brevity of it. Soon the iron gates will clank shut and we descend into the dark trenches of winter.
“A person always imagines there will be more warm evenings and suppers outdoors, but fall teaches otherwise.”
And that is what makes life beautiful, the knowledge of approaching November. Last week the world was drenched with the beauty Van Gogh was crazy for and that is why we send our kids off to school, so they don’t become obsessed with beauty and godlessness and can pay attention to algorithms and multiplicity and divisiveness.
I was a mediocre student, but every fall I appeared in the classroom door, struggled through college and humanities courses of which I remember nothing at all — I should have studied auto mechanics..
— And then, when I was 27- I was hired by a radio station to work the 6 a.m. shift ...and the same fall, a magazine bought a story of mine for $500.
My monthly rent was $80. I was off to the races. We want what we cannot have. The heart wants life to go on and on. So the old writer goes on writing stories, still hopeful, though there’s plenty of evidence that you hit your peak at forty. You sit doing something you’ve done steadily since childhood and it’s still of keen interest.
And Sunday night I dreamed about writing. I’d written a book about the Soviet Union and was invited to talk about it up in the Berkshires and drove on winding roads through little hill towns to a house where I walked up a strange steep staircase with tiny steps to the attic where a dozen people sat around a table to hear my talk. I joked about who should leave first if there were a fire and nobody laughed.
They were all communists and took sharp issue with my book and shouted at me in Russian, which I understood but could not speak.
The quiet domestic pandemic life has been bringing me a wild dream life.
We bought a new TV in August to liven up our days and somehow cannot figure out how to tune in news programs — which platforms are they on — so we don’t watch them, which is a relief.
I’m tired of hearing the name in the news, don’t care to hear words that rhyme with it such as “dump,” “hump,” “lump,” “chump,” “rump,” “slump,” look at the news online and avert my eyes from the smug New York playboy face with the fruitcake hair. It’s time for the election now though it’s September. The election should’ve been held a year ago.
The man is a bad dream. I’m an American, I love hamburgers, country music, baseball, small towns on the prairie, the American September, Levi jeans, the poetry of Jim Harrison and Maxine Kumin, and this guy is a Russian who learned his English at the movies. He isn’t one of us, not even slightly.
Nonetheless, life is good.
Our happiness never depended on foreign con men. I’m here because my parents loved each other and even though Hitler had overrun much of Europe and was bombing England and people could see what was coming, Nonetheless; Those two nestled in each other’s arms and took their pleasure and I appeared in 1942, on the day of the American assault on Guadalcanal.
We got through the Forties and we’ll get through the Twenties. Water is coming out of the tap, the mail is left at the doorstep, the buses are running, and the grocery store is open, we’re in business.
The election approaches. Let’s get it done.
~ Garrison Keiler
[caught wind of this excellent piece by way of my friend Kamikaze John Kelly, who is also a writer. I'm trying to convince him this has value and he should consider https://submit.as/earthbound – some pieces for earthbound news. he's a brilliant periodical observer of society patterns wrought with common sense, and a honest warm heart, but also the kind of guy that if you cross him, well uh- you know better not to. The guy was a US Airforce pilot, and involved in the burning man project, and at present- is one of those human beings that not only understands why it's invaluable, but is actually doing the motions – He takes care of his 86 year old mother, and together it's probably a bit like the odd couple – Lemmon and Mathieu, but who knows, I've never met her. :–)
He really has profound and philosophical no-nonsense things to share, so I'm going to link him to this so he can see how it looks. Maybe he'll bite.
sincerely, ~ a human observer .