I Think Of You

DATE 2002

We went for our hike yesterday. Four miles uphill and down, and I brought insufficient water. But when we got home and hydrated, it turned out that I had just been hot and dehydrated, not particularly worn out. Drat. I wanted to be worn out. I wanted to have that pleasant feeling that comes after being worn out, and the hills are fairly big, so I thought that four miles would work that way, even though it's not that far. Nope. I was all energetic and ready to go do something else. Problem was, there wasn't anything else I wanted to go do. David pointed out that exercise is known to raise one's general energy level. Well, sure. I would have been okay if it raised my general energy level, not my specific energy level. I will deal, though.

Amazing how much difference The Boots make. I had halfway assumed that sore feet were the natural consequence of walking or hiking more than, say, two miles. Evidently not! Hooray for The Boots! And the SmartWool socks, too.

I think of C.J. every time I put The Boots on. And I wear The Boots kind of often. It sounds like a thank-you note thing, but I really do that. I think of my Aunt Kathy every time I scrub the toilet, because she was the one who gave me the toilet brush. I was halfway being a smartass when I wrote in my thank-you note that I would...but I do. I can pretty much dredge up who gave me/us what, and when, and often it pops up without prompting. Not so much for things like plates and bowls, because we got multiple copies of those. But bookends, vases, lamps, canisters? Sure. I can even tell you who gave us the blue bathroom trashcan.

So far I've managed to keep from getting too sentimental about these things. When one of the glasses Daniel gives us shatters in the dishwasher, I feel badly about it, but I don't try to glue the thousands of shards back together. And I have no problem storing decorative items until we have better places to put them. But it's nice to have things around that make me think of a whole range of friends and family members. Even if I'm scrubbing the toilet when I think of them.

I finished The Ground Beneath Her Feet yesterday morning -- it rambled and meandered and finally got to the non-point, but it was all right. Entertaining enough. I'm not sure I bought the central premise, though, and that's a 1970s Indo-American pop star. Rushdie's narrator talked several times about how his character had broken the color barrier. I'm not sure that I think Americans could have seen it that way. I'm not sure they could see it that way today. I think a lot of Americans are hung up on race in a very linear fashion: you're black, you're white, and recently you're allowed to be somewhere in between. And that's the color barrier. But flavors of Asian, Hispanic, Native American, that seems to be off the radars completely. Hispanic music is still largely marginalized, although that's gotten better, and there just aren't that many big-time Asian bands at all. And I don't think it's because Hispanic and Asian kids are untalented. I think it's largely because they're outside the dichotomy. And especially with Asians, none of the people who take care of these things is quite sure what grand statement they're making about race if they hire one or cast one or whatever. Are they speaking out against oppression? They can't be sure.

That's what makes multi-ethnic interactions interesting, I think: the potential for grand statements is greatly reduced. The grand statements about white and black as slaveowner and slave, oppressor and oppressed, aren't nearly as simple as they're made out to be. Throwing in someone who doesn't fit in one of the two easy categories mixes things up, jars the preconceptions. That's good. But I don't think it would be possible for someone in the 1970s to have booked concerts with Indo-American pop singers without their ethnicity being an issue in one direction or another. It was an alternate world, but it didn't come off as alternate enough, and that was kind of sad to me.

So now I'm reading James Blaylock's Winter Tides, which is in my "Good Blaylock" category. (There is Good Blaylock and Bad Blaylock, and every time I start one of his books, it is with fear and trepidation, because I don't know which kind it will be.) I've almost finished with it. I'm going to work some more this afternoon, I think, and probably wash the floors. Whee-hoo.

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