It’s been a crazy week on my home planet, one that presses the line of credibility to an extent. It seems all the books have major crises one after another, piling into one great crescendo that’s either cataclysm or triumph. But that’s not supposed to be real. That’s supposed to be Ender’s Game or its sequels (which I’m devouring at present), not 2009.
But every once in a while, there are years like this. 1968. 1987. Years that just sort of transcend everything and usher in a series of changes that seemed like it would take decades or even centuries, in a grand swoop.
It’s weird to be in a gentle transition and a soft landing against the backdrop of such a year. Although, I can anticipate the incredible bulwark of changes about to be breached. 1987 made so much sense, because my own life was in crazy upheaval and it reflected well. Indeed, maybe 1989 was really the year, far more than 1987, but things for me were calmer in 1989. Maybe it’s all just the personal filter one puts on things and maybe there’s nothing really going on at all.
Somehow, I doubt it.
But I’ve been in limbo nonetheless. A fantastic trip to Seattle, with lots of baseball and hanging out by the water and soaring to great heights (planes, Space Needle). A subsequent return to an apartment full of boxes that need weeding, resorting, unpacking toward repacking toward a ship date that looms ever closer, now looking like 7/7/9.
Yesterday, after chasing sold-out showings around the East Bay for much of the week prior, Emily and I went to see “Up”. My conclusion was that the only reason they give you 3-D glasses is that most people are self-conscious about crying around other people, even in a dark room. The substantial plastic glasses are a great cover for a movie where one spends most of the time weeping. To keep the kids happy, ever shorter of attention span (presumably, and if the youngin’s at the 10:25 PM showing were any indication), there’s a discordant chase-filled plot that even ends in a rare Pixar death (spoiler alert), but it’s bookended by tragedy worthy of Hans Christian Andersen. Seriously.
Today I went to lunch with a friend in the City (which means SF for only a few more weeks, and then I guess will mean… what, gulp, New York? Wow). She works at the San Francisco Food Bank, this huge airplane hangar of a building in the hills overlooking the freeway. As we approached the building, a pigeon flew into the glass side of the building, made a horrendous thudding sound, and fell to the sidewalk, dead.
At least it looked dead. It wasn’t even twitching – the wind gave its feathers a deceptively eerie sense of movement. But it was very much dead. Cue the Monty Python parrot sketch.
It was a horrific sight. I hadn’t seen the actual impact with the glass, but I’d heard it and seen the bird hit the ground. Its legs were curled up under itself as a last dying act, falling from the side of the building. Coming in as fast as it had, it was little wonder that it had killed itself with the impact.
The receptionist called Facilities to take the bird away, and just before I left, they informed us that the bird had been shot. It had a pellet in it and this had caused the death. Had we actually seen the bird hit the glass? Well no, I had to admit, but I had heard it. Maybe the bird was flying out of control because it already knew it was dying. Or it was hit where its ability to control its movement was, and had no choice but to fulfill a building-bound trajectory after being shot. Or it was shot just before hitting the building? But that would have to mean the shooter was far closer than we realized. And who shoots pigeons anyway? In the City of San Francisco?
If I hadn’t already been thinking about Air France flight 447, I sure was now. I couldn’t believe that something like this had happened right in front of me in the same week. Crossing one of the only radio deadzones on my home planet, the plane suddenly falls out of the sky. It was breaking up, but it was whole when hitting the water. It exploded in the sky, but didn’t break apart. We can rule out terrorism, but everyone saw a flash and fire. There was a massive lightning storm, but other planes made it through and every plane on Earth gets struck by lightning every few years. It left a debris trail, but the trail of debris was not from the plane.
It’s all about as crazy as an already shot bird hitting a window with enough force to die.
Suddenly limbo is seeming okay for now. Maybe the problem is just momentum.