Note: I pulled this one out of the archives as we have just endured another evening of tumultuous weather. This reflection was originally penned in the middle of a scorching summer, not a Covid Spring, but the reactions and the musings remain the same…
Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #25 (The “Quick Bit of Rambling Because I Promised to Do This Regularly” Version)
Storms have rolled in once again.
This is rather annoying, because it’s near the end of July and by this time in Texas we should be done with all that mess. July and August are the months when a high-pressure cell typically plunks its ass right over the state and doesn’t move, stabilizing the atmosphere but also creating a baking terrarium that incubates the heat until we are all jellied masses of lethargy and bitterness. The people who survived in this place before the invention of air-conditioning were noble warriors. Of course, the U.S. Government then forcibly moved those warriors onto reservations. Ain’t history grand?
Storms make me pensive, what with worrying about potential destruction dropping from the sky and some residual Bible-School synapse in my brain wondering if I’m about to get a special email invitation from someone named “Noah 2.0”, advising me of a cruise ship that will soon be departing from Port Sinai. (All inclusive! Dancing on the Lido Deck! Couples only!)
Tonight’s pondering variations include two additional items. One, I am regretting the unnecessary ding to my water bill, having manually kicked off the sprinkler system a few hours before the sky split open and issued forth an amazing inundation that would be admirable if it hadn’t negated my earlier pain and suffering. (I valiantly exited the back door, fought my way through the turgid air as I navigated toward the back of the house, popped open the door on the system command center, heroically pushed three buttons, and then surmounted all odds by getting back into my domicile without expiring. I was outside for roughly 27 seconds. I lost three pounds of sweat during the process.)
Two, my mind, which never achieves any degree of stasis, hopscotched back to a TV show we watched last night. For those who relish details, it was the final episode of season 1 of Penny Dreadful. This series is fascinating, in my non-stasis opinion, what with it being a mashup of historical fiction, 19th century horror, both literary and real, the trickiness of morality, personal quests for redemption, and startling moments of non-Victorian nudity. (It’s not for everyone. Do your research before you take the plunge.) In any case, there was a scene where two characters must part, probably forever, despite their mutual admiration and respect, and one says to the other:
“Remember us better than we are.”
It was a perfect line for the scene and, in some respects, a summation of that entire first season. And it plucked a personal chord, in that I have often reflected on this very thing. I once had a blog entitled “Memory Remix”, wherein I shared stories of what once was, with the caveat that what we remember is often colored by what we wished it to be. And in that sense, do any of us really remember what truly happened? Does time warp our perception of the past? Or do WE warp it, softening the sharp edges, or sharpening the soft edges, so we can justify what we’ve become, or what we once did? Maybe. And maybe we should. Perhaps this is how we survive, tinting and shading the past, so we can sleep at night, and love again in the morning.
The storms have quieted now. Distant rumbles, brief spits of rain. I’m off to check my email, so I can let Noah 2.0 know that I won’t be needing his services this late evening, thanks anyway.
Previously published. I know it’s been a while since I proffered a fresh “Sunday in the Park” post. Then again, it’s also been a while since we’ve had a normal Sunday. We’ll get back there, eventually. Stay safe and make wise choices, and don’t listen to clueless presidents who don’t give a damn if you live long enough to make more memories…