A black crow
The first is from an author interview I heard. It was with a former governor of Vermont, a woman named Madeleine Kunin (I'm not up on my former governors of Vermont). She's written a memoir which--I just checked Google; I didn't remember this from the interview--is called Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties, by which she means decade in her own life (she's 85 now), not the 1980s.
She said something at some point that prompted the interviewer to ask her if she thought about death much, and she laughed and said, well, she was getting up in years and that the thought was "like a black crow sitting on your shoulder--when he flies away, you know he's still in the neighborhood."
And I thought Wow. I know exactly what she means. About certain sorts of thoughts--not necessarily about death. But yeah, also about death--though I doubt that crow sits on my shoulder quite as frequently as it sits on hers. She's got a few decades on me.
At some point in our first year in this house--almost 20 years ago--something was wrong with something electric in the bathroom. The only electric things in the bathroom are the lights and the fan, so one of those two. An electrician came over, a journeyman electrician. I don't remember how we got connected with him--was he someone's friend? Or a recommendation from a parent of some classmate of one of our kids? Anyway, he came. He had an unusual name of a mysterious-to-me ethnicity, and pale eyes. He pointed out a simple fix to whatever our electrical problem was, and I seem to recall he didn't even charge us.
Sometime later I saw he had gotten his own truck. Sometime later still (like a few years later), he was in the police blotter for a domestic assault charge. Well that's too bad, I remember thinking. But I continued to see the truck around, and the other day I saw it again in the library parking lot.
Every time I see it, I'll have these twin memories, so opposite--the personal kindness received, and the charge of violence.
For a change of pace, how about this:
It's flattened eggs for Dunkin Donuts--now to be known just as "Dunkin"--breakfast sandwiches. Strange and kind of charming. That plastic container is filled with them.
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