“Black holes are where God divided by zero.” - Steven Wright
I’m feeling much better this morning, as the line between obligation and desire grows clearer in my mind. The opening was a success! I met many vibrant, wonderful people, proving my theory right about the residents of Kensington. I got to see the ever-fabulous Sonja for the first time in -- god, count ‘em – 3 years! We’ll have to get together again soon so as to really catch up in a mellow setting, but it was great to show the gallery (you know, I really think I would make a GREAT tour guide).
My father, bless him, bartended all night, which involved hand-washing the champagne glasses almost as often as they were passed out. He was busy, and he took it in stride, and I am very thankful for his help.
On a side note, you must go to this NEW restaurant . Damien is a very talented man, and I have enjoyed the pasta sandwich on many a late night at school. Now he has the restaurant open, and I can’t wait to go! All I need is a few minutes of time to actually do something I feel like rather than something I feel like I have to do.
Speaking of which - tonight my mother is having a last minute dinner soiree for the family in honor of her father, as he leaves tomorrow morning (he has always lived on the East Coast, and we grew up on the West). He is old and he is very ill, and this would most definitely be the last time I could see him alive. I decided I can do a quick stop-in (a result, partially, of the sage advice of my good friend John ). But I think it’s important to know, if only because it is important for me to face and accept, that the only reason I am going is because I do not want to deal with the potential bullshit I would face if I were not to drop everything last minute and show up to this dinner. I do not want to deal with the projection of guilt that my family feels over their absence in my grandfather’s life.
I am completely at peace with my lack of relationship with this person, and though I respect his position as my one-step removed creator, I feel no need to try and bond with him or fake an intimate sort of granddaughter-like love for him. When I question my emotions involving him, I come up with the same feelings I have when I see an old person at a bus-stop. I see this old person, and he seems sad and alone, and I wonder about all of the hardships he’s suffered, and I wonder if he was ever able to appreciate moments of pure joy. I feel tugs of sympathy when I look at his face, eyes distant, head cast down, someone who is clearly carrying out the rest of his sentence on this earth rather than joyfully soaking in the last few minutes before recess ends.
When I see an old person at a bus-stop, I try to read his visage, the contours of his face, I look for a spark of light, I look for a hint of knowledge or a smile. When I see it, I hope to be that lucky when I get old, and I wonder about all of the lessons in life I could learn from that one, knowing little spark. When I don’t see it, when my search ends with that faraway look, a lugubrious stare, I am sad for him in the way you are sad for a bird with a broken wing. This is how I feel about my grandfather. When I see him tonight, and I will for a brief time, he will be as strange and puzzling to me as any of those aged creatures adorning the streets where I live. The only difference is, I will hug him before I tear my gaze away to think of other things.