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Friday, December 25, 2009


Last night, when we were all in the process of recovering from a hearty Christmas feast, and cleaning up the ensuing wreckage, I happened upon my new Grandparents. With a devotion that would stagger the most ecstatic of saints, they were pouring over their church address book, working out the precise coordinates of their fellow congregants and weighing their proximity to their own neighborhood and home. I wanted to join in, but my knowledge of geography has always been limited to the three feet directly in front of my face. I couldn't believe how much detail went into this discussion; I hoped the phone book was locked away or those presents would languish under the tree until an architect with a grant from Berkley showed up. Then I considered the plethora of directories, waiting like hidden gems on the internet, and thought that fate would have to decide.

We read from Luke amid the lightening of four cameras. For one insane moment, I considered reaching for my umbrella; I settled for a hat instead. Our efforts began at eight in the evening, and ended just shy of twelve. These presents were really well-wrapped! As the hour grew later, my fatigue overwhelmed me, and consequently, I looked like a man reciting Mozart's "Don Giovanni" in most of the photographs. Any spontaneous moment of joy, once spotted, was siezed, frozen and exploited to such an extent, that I am now convinced cameras are the creation of Medusa.

It's now Christmas day, and as I examine the neat columns of that fated directory, I can't find a single street-name or digit that animates me. I've long suspected myself of being a philistine because I'm a big fan of movies with plots to them, but this simply devastates me.

I've decided to walk up and down the block, noting the various mailbox numbers and land markers. I'll start with actual corporeal bodies, and then move on to directories with pictures in them--training wheels if you will. My ultimate hope is to one day become a connoisseur of mechanical serial numbers, as well as a collector of mileage sheets and discarded digits of every dimension and design. As I type, I'm trying to find some splendor in the floor tiles, but I just keep craving something banal and action-packed, like a complete History of Hegel's Dialectics.

It's hard being unrefined....

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