Had a strange phone conversation last night. It wasn’t as grim as that summary might suggest – it just had a sort of black humor quality.
One of my cousins died recently – much too young; sad story. Shortly after her death, I had a call from her brother, who wanted to talk, and I was happy to offer a shoulder. He was also concerned that he hadn’t been able to reach our last surviving mutual uncle. Uncle O_____ has had some health problems recently, and my cousin couldn’t find a number for him that worked. I promised I’d call him myself, since I’ve been in pretty regular communication with him, until recently.
I tried calling, and the numbers I had didn’t work.
After the funeral, my cousin called again, and I told him about my failure. My cousin suggested I go through Facebook (which he doesn’t use anymore), messaging O____’s grandchildren. I tried that and broke through. They said they’d pass the news on.
So last night O____ and his wife called me. Apologized for losing touch – they’ve been going through a difficult time of selling a house and relocating, on top of health issues.
Then we started catching up. There was a lot of catching up to do.
“How’s L_________?” O_____ asks, referring to a cousin of his.
“Oh,” I said. “I thought you knew about that. She died. A couple years ago, as I recall.”
A little later he asked, “What about J_______?” Another of his cousins.
“I meant to tell you about that,” I said. “He died around Christmas.”
When you get to a certain age, pretty much all news is bad news.
And today I got to thinking about that, in relation to the writing I used to do for The American Spectator Online. It’s been a long time since they published one of mine, and it’s not because they’ve blacklisted me or anything. The editor has always been very complimentary about my writing, and I know anything I send them will probably be welcome.
And I’ve tried to write them something. I started two or three essays in the last six months or so, but somehow they never came to anything. Some I finished, some I didn’t, but they ultimately just didn’t seem to work.
I think maybe it’s because I’m getting to a certain age, and pretty much all news is bad news.
I can still tell parables and make arguments, but how do you convince people who don’t believe in reason? Who consider logic a tool of white male oppression?
And now I’m not sure how to end this post. Ultimately it just doesn’t seem to work.