Tuesday Open Thread ~ Whiplash


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“Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” ~ Margo Channing
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Imagine you're speeding along the superhighway of life at about 100 mph when suddenly, without warning, the person sitting next to you whacks the gear shift into reverse? Now imagine that same person telling you afterwards that you were going too fast, your tires are bald, and they are in love with your partner. Say, what? From politics to relationships, life can really take a detour into crazy town. Time and distance can lessen the flinch reflex, but usually a hefty dose of sardonic irony is the best way to go. For the purpose of today's Open thread, I'll attempt to play around with the latter in my re-telling of a few seminal whiplash moments.

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Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law. ~ Justice John Paul Stevens [Dissent] Bush v. Gore (2000)

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Bizarre Bedfellows

Like the bride who found a bloody horse’s head in her marital bed instead of her groom, my relationship with politics took a whiplash turn during the 2000 Election. Fresh from my swearing-in ceremony as a new U.S. citizen, I stepped into the voting booth for the first time and cast my vote for Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. The rest, as they say, is history. The ink barely dry off my Certificate of Citizenship, I watched our democracy die in what essentially became the Dred Scott case of our time.

To say that the ruling in Bush v. Gore was “poorly-reasoned” is an understatement of epic proportions. Favoring a “convenient and timely” tabulation of ballots over an accurate recording of the actual vote, was one of those WTF moments the disenfranchised asked themselves after the decision was announced. It not only robbed us of our votes, but completely undermined the Supreme Court's stature as an independent and impartial arbiter of the law, while exposing itself as a political tool for those in power

In hindsight, the 2000 election proved to be a bellwether I did not hear. Comparable to signs the wife of a philandering husband chooses to ignore, I remained loyal to the party, voting again and again in an electoral process that disenfranchised people with ruthless impunity. Then came the 2016 primary and my willingness to be bamboozled, shamed, and frightened was at an end. On July 29, 2016, I finally divorced the Democratic Party a day after the convention. Yet, even after my #DemExit, I still feel the reverberations of the initial whiplash, and so, as the 2020 election year begins, I think I might put on a neck brace just to be safe.

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whiplash - statue of liberty floating.jpg
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Kaboom!

Newly married Simon Swafford captures the I can't believe this is happening moment in such a hilarious way, I actually annoyed the people sitting behind me in the movie theater with my fits of laughter. What turns out to be the worst morning of his life, poor Simon, played by Chris O’Dowd, is told by his glamorous new bride that she is going to be moving next door with his friend Gavin, who she admits to being in love with. As if the onboard wedding ceremony that took place the day before was just a misunderstanding, inexplicably, and to great comedic effect, Simon’s bride Eleanor, played by January Jones, is obliviously callous and completely tone deaf about what she sees as a workable solution. Simon is utterly devastated and manages only to squeak out incredulous replies under his breath, stifling the scream you feel just wants to escape from somewhere deep in his soul. How the scene plays out is pricelssly entertaining.

(Pirate Radio, 2009. A snippet of the ending of their conversation followed by the scene where Simon gets behind the microphone after the break-up of his marriage.

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A little less hilarious, but still packing a punch, I present a real life example of an excruciating whiplash moment. During a year when I lost my Mother, my 17 year old cat, and my job at Morgan Stanley after 9/11, I was also given the heave-ho from my boyfriend. Similarly to poor Simon, I never saw it coming. The previous week we had gone shopping for engagement rings and then Kaboom! He tells me he's leaving and that he has a moving truck already downstairs. It was one of those moments where the person sitting across from you is moving their lips, and sound is coming out, but you can’t make out what they are saying. By the time my brain did absorb what was happening, he was already packing up his things. A year later, I received what he referred to as a “courtesy call”, telling me that he was getting married to a French girl he met while working in London. I don’t recall exactly what I said to him during that phone call, but before I hung up, I did make use of a few French words I learned.

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"It is time for writers to admit that nothing in this world makes sense. Only fools and charlatans think they know and understand everything. The stupider they are, the wider they conceive their horizons to be. And if an artist decides to declare that he understands nothing of what he sees -- this in itself constitutes a considerable clarity in the realm of thought, and a great step forward." ~ Anton Chekov

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When You're Not Picasso, But You Like to Paint Anyway

All writers learn to write by writing. Yet in the beginning, learning to write can be very frustrating. You know what you want to sound like but the words on the page don't seem to reflect that. A good writing teacher understands that and will gently point you in the direction you need to go. Bad writing teachers are another story. Sometimes, it's obvious they are not suited to teach, other times their incompetence masquerades as authority and by the time it occurs to you that they are the problem, they've already wormed their way into your psyche.

One such writing teacher, let's call her "Carrie", cultivated her disdain for us into an occupation. As a twenty-something writer with two published books under her belt and who was branching out as an editor for up and coming writers, our class must've been a huge disappointment. Fortunately for Carrie, she compensated this impasse to her career with an inattentiveness to our work and an arrogant disregard for our feelings. Her glassy-eyed stares, her abrupt interruptions, and her impatience with struggling writers during our class audits were so over the top, none of us knew how to respond. A diverse collection of aspiring writers, working class poets, stay at home Moms, and your garden variety beginners, we were, as a class, truly perplexed by this mean girl telling us our writing sucked.

After the characters in my first story were panned as two dimensional cliches (her exact words), I decided to make a shift from the children's story I previously submitted to something more adult. A semi-autobiographical story about an intense love affair I had while living in New York. During our in-class audit Carrie critiqued my story by commenting that my characters and my dialogue were not believable. When I pointed out to her that this would come as a surprise to my ex-lover, who the story is based on, and who in fact provided most of the dialogue, she simply gave me a blank stare and moved onto the next person.

The most effective piece of writing I did in that class came at the end of the semester when I wrote a letter to the Dean of Faculty about my experience in Carrie's class. A week later, I received a phone call from him offering me a few complimentary seminar classes with another teacher. Eventually I heard that Carrie decided not to teach the following semester, as she was working on an anthology of short stories from budding writers she found outside of the classroom. In the years since, she has forged a very lucrative career in publishing, for which I am glad. Anything that keeps her away from teaching is good news for writers who may not be the next phenom but who like to write anyway.

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"The first time I met Alex we never even made it up to my apartment. Instead we had sex in the staircase, one landing at a time. My back pressed up against the wall, my legs wrapped around his hips, his mouth melting away any of the resistance I had left, we consumed each other like starving savages. Afterwards he whispered, "you know what you are, Annabelle? You're a Ferrari. I wanna jump inside you, drive you hard and drive you fast, but I can't afford you."

What should've been a one night stand lasted almost a year. My best friend Mia often tells me my picker is broken. Meaning I could walk into a room with a 100 guys, 99 of them perfectly suitable, and I'd still pick the asshole. Who knows why. All I know is if Alex had been Satan himself with the mark of the devil seared on his forehead, I would've wanted him any way.

We met at a Blues club called, "The Blind Pig," where Alex was sitting at the bar with three empty shot glasses beside him and half a pint of Guinness. His hair was the color of licorice and his deep blue eyes made my world spin. Tall with big broad shoulders and a waist that was elegantly trim, Alex bared a striking resemblance between a young Alain Delon and the Marlborough man, except instead of cowboy boots, he wore a pair of suede shoes. Casually perched on the bar stool, his long legs straddling each side, I noticed his thighs were as thick as tree trunks. When he caught me looking, a slow smile moved across his face like he knew what I had been thinking all along."

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Baby, You're No Good

For all the Simon Swaffords out there, along with anyone else whose been on the receiving end of those whiplash moments of life, I give you the wonderful Linda Ronstadt, who said it better than anyone else could...

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Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition.
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What’s on your mind today?
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Wally's picture

I rarely read anything these days that isn't overtly and blatantly political but I read every word here.

I guess politically I'm a glutton for whiplash but it's my last go round, I tell ya!

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Wally

I guess we're all a glutton for some kind of punishment. Glad you enjoyed the stories Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

As for what's on my mind, too much, everything, and nothing. If you take a flexible rod and wiggle, the faster you move it, the less the amplitude. If you get it going fast enough, the swing is so minuscule that it is seemingly stationary. That's where I am these days and, frankly, not giving a damn about it (or anything else). There re events on the horizon that I wish to see arrive sufficiently that I cannot focus on the minute by minute business of reality except as process - get up and do --- something, ok, do this, and ... that, ok and that and that, and what now. Heh. Speaking of which, time to go do some of it.

Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

Actually made me think of a particle accelerator but I couldn't tell you why my mind went there. Hope relief in the form of resolution comes soon. If I understood you correctly. Although there's a lot to be said for sitting back and enjoying a reefer every now and then.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

At least it might not be a bad idea given the nature of our politics. Sadly, it may be the climate collapse that really spells the need for the neck brace. The changes are cascading much faster than anticipated.

I think June wrote this when they were married to others.
https://countryfancast.com/did-you-know-june-carter-cash-wrote-ring-of-f...

Watch that gas and brake pedal and hang on!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

She got the feeling right.

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire

Not surprisingly, some have even called that fascination akin to going insane, meaning your brain is so flooded with messages, you cannot reason logically. Certainly would explain why we do such stupid things when we are in the throes of it, eh?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
a delusional mode of thinking.

And especially so in that particular context: Two people sharing a powerful attraction, but married to other people ... in a society that at that time did not react well to divorce, and especially divorce induced by infidelity ... and somehow the participants sell themselves a story that they can navigate this in a way that won't brutalize the people to whom they've made promises, won't alienate the people with whom they share various social bonds, etc etc etc.

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8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Perhaps the term is more accurate than we previously thought. Kinda makes the idea of consensual arranged marriages seem less repugnant if the actual goal is compatibility and reasoned thinking over what is the most personally invasive decision of your life.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
he could, as the sitting governor of a US state, just disappear for a week and fuck off out of the country to spend some together time with his south american inamorata ... and somehow explain it all away. "Hiking the Appalachian Trail"! Good grief.

BTW, Lovesick is a series on Netflix that I quite enjoyed.

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7 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

No synapses firing in the logic region of his brain. I felt bad for his kids. It's one thing to have a husband who is a jerk, totally another thing to have a Dad as a jerk.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz

up
3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Anja Geitz

Lovesick

Perhaps the term is more accurate than we previously thought. Kinda makes the idea of consensual arranged marriages seem less repugnant if the actual goal is compatibility and reasoned thinking over what is the most personally invasive decision of your life.

I'm not so sure. Once females acquire equal rights with males, the operability of arranged marriages isn't all that better than self-chosen ones.

Generally speaking, it's my understanding that marriage, generally, is a poor solution to the problems it exists to address; but I'm biased, and my bias rises to prejudicial levels. My failure to acquire a good-quality coupling relationship is a major reason I have no children.

Bad

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Anja Geitz's picture

@thanatokephaloides

In countries where arranged marriages (with the consent of both the bride and groom) are still practiced, there is tremendous social and cultural pressure to get married and have children. Leaving most women, and men, with little choice if they would like to remain part of their social circle.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

@Anja Geitz

What inspired Johnny to sing ring of fire?
He got the Bengay mixed up with his preperation H.

Ta-da-boom

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

smiley7's picture

Enjoyed the stories, thank you.

Purchased the Cherry Blossom and x moon Pinot Noir, drank them with my son and DIL; we appreciated the Cherry the best. Good picks at great prices.

Must be catching, the do this, do that or nothing as i've a case of it as well.

Rome's gonna burn anyways, days, with or without me.

Have a wonderful California evening.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@smiley7

Nice little wine that cherry blossom, eh? I've got some great cabs to feature next week. Really lovely.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Thanks for stopping by Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

I guess they are part of life. Just when you think things are going right, life throws you a curve ball. I have had a few in my own life, mostly when I was younger and married to my first philandering husband who also happened to take up dealing drugs on the side. I never knew what was going to come down, but was glad to get out of that mess. Sometimes it seems as though life hits you with a bum deal, a whiplash moment. But without them, life sure would be dull, even though at the time, we can never appreciate them.

Great essay today!

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Anja Geitz's picture

@gulfgal98

I guess that's why the story always ends there because there is no compelling story when everyone is happy.

But without them, life sure would be dull,

Ain't that the truth! But the telling is always more entertaining than living it, eh?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

@Anja Geitz

But the telling is always more entertaining than living it, eh?

But in the end, the real joy is in surviving them. Biggrin

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Anja Geitz's picture

@gulfgal98

Hannah Gadsby says it better than I could:

there is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

mhagle's picture

I have been researching videos on exponents and square roots all afternoon. This was a nice escape.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Anja Geitz's picture

@mhagle

Sounds like you might need a glass of wine...

glass of wine.jpg
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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

mhagle's picture

Made me laugh out loud.

We keep roosters so the hens keep hatching. A new baby chick two days ago and more coming.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Anja Geitz's picture

@mhagle

are they chickens? Ha! I never noticed. Baby chicks sound adorable. Are they a lot of work? Please take pictures!!!!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

First off I didn't know that you joined the country. Willingly. I'm sure you have mentioned it here and probably more than once... blush. But how sad for you to be able to vote here after all the stories you must have heard about the great USA only to experience that. And then to go through it again less than two decades later. Or find out how many countries we screwed with while bringing them freedoms and democracy...

A little less hilarious, but still packing a punch, I present a real life example of an excruciating whiplash moment.

Ditto. In less than 18 months I went through 19 life changing moments that ended with my brother's death. That I came through the other side intact was nothing short of a miracle. I didn't know that the world could get that dark. People kept telling me that gawd wouldn't give me more than I could handle. I'd tell them f'ck your gawd I didn't need to go through all that just so some cruel being could get his kicks watching me suffer.

Ha!...love the image of the egg with the hash marks on the inside!

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

I was born in Canada, and after Reagan was elected I began to tune into politics. Didn't like what I was seeing (little did I know), followed California legislation, and then New York. Wanted to work on a campaign, so I became a citizen. By the time I recovered from the 2000 election, Kerry was running against Bush, and I just wasn't feeling it. I voted for Kerry but I didn't really want to campaign for him. Then came Obama in 2008 and I hit the street for that man full throttle. That'll teach me, eh?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

In less than 18 months I went through 19 life changing moments that ended with my brother's death. That I came through the other side intact was nothing short of a miracle.

I'd be interested to know how you did cope. I struggled. Was very depressed for over a year and briefly flirted with suicide ideation. Of course I didn't know at the time that I was suffering from bi-polar, so that didn't help.

I'll PM you later...

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

@Anja Geitz

But it was more than just ideation for me, but fortunately I was already seeing someone when I entered the void. Even then I walked with one foot over the edge for about two months... by fingernails got very strong..

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

but fortunately I was already seeing someone when I entered the void

.

Ironically, not being a math person, it's probably what kept me alive. I figured no one could ever be 100% sure of anything. And even though I felt I would never be happy again and life would never be good anymore, I knew that even if that were 99% true, I still had that 1%. Lousy odds if you're playing in Las Vegas, but killing yourself is pretty permanent, so that 1% seemed like a reasonable deterrent.

Weird how the mind works.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

it seems to me that the first examples that come to mind are either so personal or so mundane that i’m hesitant to include them.

Mundane: One of the earliest, chronologically, that i can think of was during the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, game 7, Chicago Black Hawks (as they were then) versus the Montreal Canadiens. At the end of the 2nd period Chicago was leading 2-0. their goalie was a guy named Tony “Tony Zero” Esposito, who at the time was unarguably the best goalie in the league (and by extension, in the minds of Canadians, in the world — though they were to discover otherwise about 3 months later); well, unarguably, unless one possessed a prescient understanding that the Canadiens’ rookie goaltender, Ken Dryden, who had been called up with only weeks left in the regular season, would dominate for the next several years.

In our living room, we were already celebrating; but somehow … somehow … those damned habitants scored three third period goals on TZ and won the game. It was … unthinkable. I’ve wondered occasionally, in the last 10 years or so, whether Tony Esposito EVER gave up three goals in one period in any other playoff game in his career. And the Hawks, who had most recently won the cup about a month before I was conceived, did not win again until a few months after my 50th birthday.

Horrifying:
Kerry’s 2004 loss. Went to bed and things looked … not decided, but very encouraging. Woke up really, really early and lost whatever small faith I had left in either the Democratic Party, or the democratic process.

Personal:
I’d just received my engineering degree from a very highly-ranked university. My performance there was satisfactory, but unimpressive, in keeping with a family tradition of underachievement. Ronald Reagan had driven the country into a brutal recession. To my dismay, after a LOT of on-campus interviews, I found myself with exactly one job offer. It was a really good job offer, mind you -- working on avionics for a super-modern high-tech death-and-destruction delivery system. When I had started out in college, I would have drooled over this job. As a freshman engineering student, I’d survey the half-page and full-page engineering recruitment ads in the daily student newspaper, and slaver over the photos of exquisite aircraft, under the corporate logos that had powered the US to industrial high-tech victory in WWII. The particular company in question had produced the very machines that, as a high-school wargaming geek and history buff, I admired beyond all others.
The spring before I entered university 1000 companies had come interviewing a graduating class of 500 engineers. The spring of my final year, 500 companies were interviewing 800 engineers. Meanwhile, working on avionics systems for super-modern high-tech death-and-destruction delivery systems was no long my dream job. I wanted to design microcomputers. Or supercomputers. Or something like that. Among other things, I had studied a lot of history as an undergrad. A LOT. Far more than an ordinary engineering student. Including military history. And the history of the British Empire and stuff. There remained no tattered shred of the adolescent romanticism that I had learned, like every other guy I knew, from cool war movies like A Bridge Too Far, or The Guns of Navarone.
For three months that summer (I needed a couple of courses to complete some requirements) I scrambled around looking for any other possibility, but nothing appeared. I was stunned by the turn of events. We were supposed to be among the most desirable recruits in the nation. Historically, a minimum of three or four offers was taken for granted — but there I was, with just the one, and that one was presenting, the more I thought about it, a deeper and deeper challenge to certain things I believed about myself, or wanted to believe about myself.
And then, the summer session ended, my final finals were finished, and my undergraduate days were done, and I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had no where to go, no other job, no savings of any kind, no place to live but a spare bedroom at my mother’s house.
I called up the recruiter and told him: “I’m sorry. I just can’t do it.” I hung up the phone and just stood there wondering: Now what? How do I explain to my parents? What will my friends make of this? What do I do tomorrow? How did this happen? How can I possibly be a graduated engineer, with two bachelor’s degrees (all that history) from the nation’s top-ranked public university engineering program, and jobless? Everything that I thought was understood about my future was suddenly null and void.

up
7 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

If you were a Red Sox fan. I was a Yankee fan, so I was rooting for New York. Was actually down at Chumley's in Greenwich village when it happened. The entire restaurant erupted. Nice sports memory. Unlike yours I guess.

Thanks for sharing your personal story. So, you're principled, eh? Refreshing to hear. Must mean you have a dose of integrity too. You also tell a good yarn. Nice little cliffhanger there at the end. So what happened? Did Mom get a call to clean out your old room?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
on a single, utterly inexplicable failure (though the Canadiens' first goal was a ludicrous score on a slapshot almost from center ice). The only way a team scores 3 unanswered goals on Tony Esposito is if his own team isn't getting the job done. By the way, Buckner died a few months ago.

Back in those days, being a Yankees fan was kind of like rooting for the sun -- you know it's going to outshine the other stars, so what's the point?

What happened after I made that phone call, well that's the rest of my life, isn't it? Broken hearts, failed endeavors, the usual stuff.

I did forget to add an explicit note though, which is that unlike most of these whiplash stories, in that case I did it to myself. I really couldn't believe I was going to say no, right up to the moment I did.

up
4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Back in those days, being a Yankees fan was kind of like rooting for the sun -- you know it's going to outshine the other stars, so what's the point

?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

I did forget to add an explicit note though, which is that unlike most of these whiplash stories, in that case I did it to myself. I really couldn't believe I was going to say no, right up to the moment I did

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Eagles92's picture

@UntimelyRippd As a lifelong, die-hard Sox fan (my childhood home was within walking distance of Fenway), I can't believe I missed this news. Watched that game on TV and participated in his scapegoating then, and for years afterward. Then I "grew up" and realized how unfair it was to blame him for a loss that comprised so many other factors. Really, what is wrong with those of us who forget that players are human just like the rest of us?

Buckner did a good job of making lemonade out of the whole affair, and I hope he's found lasting peace now.

(Side note: My recently departed grandmother, born in 1920, was the original die-hard Sox fan in my book. Even through this year's early season, she could recite the entire lineup and opine on the starting and closing pitchers. I was never so thrilled as to be able to celebrate the 2004 Series win with her, after her 84 years of waiting). Smile

Anja - this is a great essay. Thanks for sharing so many personal anecdotes (and a sample of your writing; Carrie is an idiot).

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

That are the best to watch. Nice memory Smile

I was never so thrilled as to be able to celebrate the 2004 Series win with her, after her 84 years of waiting
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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

sounds like your stud guy was wearing shoes on his head.

I also took creative writing courses, as an undergrad. In the first one, the prof was a guy who 15 years earlier had been Roger Ebert's favorite (they became lifelong friends, and even published a book together, The Perfect London Walk).

In the end, taking that class was one of the most important things that ever happened to me, though I never did manage to write any decent fiction outside of my 3 classes. Funny thing, when I went in for my end-of-semester conference, he shook his head and apologized, "I'm sorry, I just can't give you an A" -- which meant a B, as that university did not give intermediate grades. But then, when my report card came, he had changed his mind.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Not that I want to come off like "Carrie", but I note that it sounds like your stud guy was wearing shoes on his head.

And I did laugh out loud!

Made me think about this though:

Never gets old. My only complaint is the guy's bad aim

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Eagles92's picture

@Anja Geitz How could I have forgotten this?

I've just re-watched the video five times. Did you notice the smirk on W's face during the first projectile launch? I can't decide if it's because he was slow on the uptake (per usual), or if he was in on the deal? Either way, still hilarious.

I pine for the days when one could throw shoes and not be met with armed artillery and tear gas ...

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

But how sweet would it have been if that shoe hit Georgie right in the mouth? I'm even ghoulish enough for wishing the impact gave him a fat lip that he had to walk around with for a few days as he told the Iraqi people we are trying to "help" them.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

So, I changed it! Hahahaha!

Alex bared a striking resemblance between a young Alain Deleon and the Marlborough man, except instead of cowboy boots, he wore a pair of suede shoes.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

In the end, taking that class was one of the most important things that ever happened to me, though I never did manage to write any decent fiction outside of my 3 classes.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
it led to one small thing, which led to everything else.

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2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

that years ago, a guy I had dated and had known for years had multiple personalities!
He is the only person I have ever met with that condition!
Even his family didn't figure it out for years!
In this community, he was popular, was a good neighbor.
Two communities down the highway, he was a meth cook, caught impersonating a peace officer, and auto theft.
Anyway, as gulfgal says, life presents so many twists and turns, it is a wonder we all have a working neck at all.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@on the cusp

Life sure does detour into crazy town when you least expect it.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

In hindsight, the 2000 election proved to be a bellwether I did not hear. Comparable to signs the wife of a philandering husband chooses to ignore, I remained loyal to the party, voting again and again in an electoral process that disenfranchised people with ruthless impunity.

If you ever experience doubt that you are a good writer, don't.

As for the actual political whiplash, have I ever been there.

Maybe we should all share our stories?

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Maybe we should all share our stories?

Might be a good OT, right?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Anja Geitz

Maybe we should all share our stories?

About looking for adult (romantic/sexual) love?

I wouldn't wish most of my experiences in that vein on Hitler if I was Jewish. (Good evening, Counselor Godwin!)

Wink

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides

I was thinking, our political stories. How did we get here, that kind of thing.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

a bullet dodged.

She told me to tell you that.

He sounds like a class-A asshole.
(That's from me.)

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I think I did dodge a bullet!

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7 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

At age 16, my liver function was 2%, and I was told I would not live beyond 6 months.
At that time, nobody on earth was reported alive with that function. Science said that life was not possible.
Well, I am 67, work all the time under circumstances that can cause heart issues, and bullet holes.
My Dad and I decided not to tell Mom, or my brother, and I decided to read a lot. I didn't want to die ignorant.
Unfortunately, the mindset of hoping the medicine worked went on for 16 years. I made some relationship mistakes, because, after all, a simple case of mono could kill me. I couldn't go anywhere, do anything, missed Woodstock.
But I am making up for lost time now.
Many friends reap the benefits of my non-death, and I don't give a damn about tomorrow when I have today, and today was just awesome.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@on the cusp

Wow. You are one extraordinarily willful human being. Just had to prove those doctors wrong. Don't know if my go-to reaction would be to read, even though I obviously do like to read. Interesting detail. So I imagine your natural curiosity probably makes you a good lawyer?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz I watched that tv show when I was a kid.
I watched him make witnesses absolutely fall apart, then the truth came out. He saved the day. Riveting.
I went to college, against dr's. orders at age 16, went into a pre-law program.
I did not want to get a school loan for $200,000 until I had just worked, saved, and basically, not died. My parents were hesitant to send me to school when I was not necessarily able to live through it. The 4 year degree was really cheap and affordable. I paid my tuition by teaching ballet and piano lessons.
I got that report of 100% function when I was 31. Had already aced the tests for entry into law school, the dreaded LSAT.
Lawyers my age have about 5 or 6 more years experience than I do. I took every course that the school offered to put you directly in the courtroom. Moot court, mock trial, and on and on. My first trial was maybe 10 months after the ink dried on my law license. (I bought a book, "Where to sit and where to Stand as a Lawyer".) Guy was facing life, I got him 32 years. He wrote me a letter from prison, said after 12 felony trials, mine was the best. He ought to know! He sent me all kinds of wood carvings from his prison shop. They rest on my office desk today. I think he drew some more felonies while in prison, and doubt if he will ever step out of it again.
It has been worth all the thousands of pills, trips to the labs, the tens of thousands of blood draws to be able to have done this.
I will always have scars from those needles.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@on the cusp

That is an exceptionally dramatic tale there, my dear!

P.S. appreciate the detail of thinking of prisoners as human beings. many people don't.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@on the cusp

have you seen "Goliath" on Netflix?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz n/t

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Anja Geitz's picture

@on the cusp

Billy Bob Thornton is the classic anti hero, hero. Smart lawyer down on his luck. Gets an impossible case that some very important people don't want him to investigate. Great set of characters and some funny ass dialogue.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

thanatokephaloides's picture

The previous week we had gone shopping for engagement rings and then Kaboom! He tells me he's leaving and that he has a moving truck already downstairs. It was one of those moments where the person sitting across from you is moving their lips, and sound is coming out, but you can’t make out what they are saying. By the time my brain did absorb what was happening, he was already packing up his things. A year later, I received what he referred to as a “courtesy call”, telling me that he was getting married to a French girl he met while working in London. I don’t recall exactly what I said to him during that phone call, but before I hung up, I did make use of a few French words I learned.

I assume "merde" was one of them? Wink

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Anja Geitz's picture

@thanatokephaloides

baise toi

Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

thanatokephaloides's picture

..... One of my first teenage crushes, along with Carly Simon.....

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Anja Geitz's picture

@thanatokephaloides

heard her a few years ago tell a story about when she was doing a photograph for a cover of a magazine with some very famous photographer and she showed up in overalls and got a lot of attitude from said photographer.

she's also very funny.

nice choice for a crush...

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Anja Geitz

heard her a few years ago tell a story about when she was doing a photograph for a cover of a magazine with some very famous photographer and she showed up in overalls and got a lot of attitude from said photographer.

Linda could show up in a mud-caked burlap sack and I'd still reckon her among the sexiest women living.

That photog had his head securely planted deep in his rectum. DiabloWink

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Anja Geitz's picture

@thanatokephaloides

Yeah, I can see how you'd like her.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

and a lovely one. So many changes just reading through it. We're all making our own journey through this life, experiencing what we need to experience so that we can learn what we need to learn and hopefully reach a fulfilled love for it all. In whatever form. And yeah, it ain't easy. I can agree with Gulf Gal about surviving, sometimes it feels like my proudest accomplishment. And what survivors we have here, all miraculously clear-eyed enough to see straight through the wall of lies that the establishment media builds around us daily. That right there is a hell of an accomplishment. So glad on the cusp beat that early rap and went on to create a wonderful life. So much is unpredictable.

I can relate to the first whiplash you mention, although for me it felt like a thud. It felt like death. All my life I'd revered "the founding fathers" and the beautiful thing they created for us, the fulfillment, I thought, of the Magna Carta 500+ years before, and despite so many misgivings (Vietnam, Jim Crow, the assassinations, Nixon, Reagan, profound relief followed by deep apprehension with Clinton), I still thought we'd pulled through as a nation, we were still on, still us. Then sitting in my car in a shopping center parking lot on the evening of December 12, 2000, about to pull out, NPR announced the Bush v. Gore decision. I turned off the ignition and went limp as the radio announced the death of my country and all it stood for. And I believe time has born that out.

Thanatokephaloides, I agree with you about Linda Ronstadt. A while back I came across a set of her live performances on youtube, casually dressed in jeans singing into a mic, relaxed, relating to the audience so naturally, and it was captivating. Such a beautiful young woman she was, and even more I admire how she has handled the huge curve ball life threw at her much later. Tremendous maturity, strength of character. Beautiful attitude.

Thanks for a good thread, Anja.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@laurel

Yes, I can relate to that too. It's how I felt when after working so hard during Obama's campaign, I began to see the chinks in his armor. Beginning with letting the bankers off after they crashed the world economy into burning pyre, and then suspending habeas corpus for American Citizens when he signed the NDAA in 2013.

Thanks for sharing your story. I was also a big fan of the ideals this country was born with. Such romantics we are...

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Late to the party again.

On the road of life, one would need to lead a very charmed existence to avoid a few wrecks along the way. Some more than others.

Glad you stuck with the writing gig. We don't always go to the keyboard with the coach we need (to paraphrase Rumsfeld), we go with the coaching life gives us.

Cheers!

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

How true that is! But you know something? There are lessons to be gleaned even with the bad ones. And I did learn a lot about my writing, and myself, during that semester.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

I think maybe this is a guy thing. I know of other instances. In at least one case, I know it from the perspective of the woman the guy was marrying: He told her that he had called (or maybe written?) to his ex-SO to inform her of the impending nuptials. My friend (who tended to be a bit ... sensitive ... about things) never really got over it.

I'm wondering whether men are more likely to dwell on the failed relationships, and on the always-there possibility of what might yet be? And projecting that onto the women in their lives, they presume that this final closure is something everyone wants?

I did once say to a woman whom I never did date, but with whom I had a very long flirtation, "If you ever get married, you'd better invite me. I promise I won't come, but invite me anyway."

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3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

It's interesting you should say that. It might very well be a male pov. Although when said ex-boyfriend called, I always got the feeling guilt disguised as "integrity" was the motivator factor for the phone call, as opposed to nostalgia, or Egads! A feeling of regret. We shared a lot mutual friends, and word of his wedding would've gotten back to me. He said he wanted me to hear it straight from him and not through word of mouth.

He needn't have bothered. It didn't hurt less hearing it from him, so his "noble" gestured did not "make me feel better" Not surprisingly, shortly afterwards, I played that phone call over in mind quite a few times and all the things I would've wanted to say to him, but frankly, a friend boiled it down to its succint best,

"Hell had indeed frozen over".

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier