Monday, February 08, 2010


I was a good kid—I mean, a really good kid. I didn’t break rules or lie to my parents. I studied enough to get reasonable marks, kept a social life sufficiently limited so as not to require parental discipline, yet vibrant enough to keep them from worrying about my well-being. When it comes to stretching the boundaries, I’m a late bloomer. Because of this tardiness, the burden of balancing risk against my eccentricities has fallen not upon my parents, but on my kids.
”I’ll be telling stories at midnight in the Wainwright Cemetery,” I announce to each of them separately. Perhaps it would be more fair to tell them together, but it’s more fun to tell them separately. It triples the pleasure of watching as each of them measures a long and pregnant silence, groping for an appropriate response.
And while I view this upcoming exploit as a triumph of the outrageous over the mundane, as the hopeful proof that my life will still hold many surprises, I can see that each of them, in a private moment, is wondering what signs ought to raise suspicion if they ever need to prove a case of dementia.

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