Calm the waters

Dear Jim;

Good Monday morning. It’s sunny here.  Yesterday it was sixty-eight degrees, and sunny. I got to take a walk with my husband without the kids (the in-laws were here for three days).  It felt great.  I also read about a major international oceanic conference, where key factors were discussed in various symposia (salinity, temp, acidity, and I forget the rest), which are rising at completely unexpected rates, and exponentially.  No one is sure why, and the melting of large sections of arctic ice and the subsequent injection of fresh water has been meaningless.  Given rates measured worldwide, the projection agreed upon was that all sea life will be dead in twenty years.  Worse, it seems there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Husband read a science fiction work addressing this issue (extremely prescient) written about thirty years ago.  The book considers what happens if the oceans die.  The outcome is: we die too as a species, and most other life approximately twenty years later.  This total of forty more years would encompass my normal life span anyway, but not my kids.  Not other people’s kids. . .and what would the last ten years of our lives look like in this picture?

I woke up on this beautiful day, the in-laws having left last evening and the visit having gone well.  We breakfasted on banana bread lovingly made by a friend yesterday.  Husband went off to combat ignorance, cup of coffee in hand.  The sun is streaming in, wind tossing the trees around.  Bach flows from the stereo; the boys are playing nicely together.  I howl.  The conflicting emotions of the moment: contentment, happiness; alternate with emotions generated from my reading: fear, desolation.  I howl.  Ginsberg had no idea what howling was about, his grief regarding death was nothing in the face of what the future holds.

I started howling many years back.  Tilted face, open throat, full chested howl.  I teach the boys to howl.  Dogs have that expression down correctly.  I find it cathartic, and the only response I can manage in the face of overwhelming absurdity.

I miss you.  We saw a strange little movie last night- Code 46 (you can see it for free on the net at hulu or  It added to my futuristic unease, and it’s a good little film.  We also saw Nobody’s Fool, again (same sites).  It balanced the sci-fi a little with standard Russo-esque pragmatism.  Sunny days in winter, films, and modofinil as opiates for the masses.  Say, now that bloody Bach is making me think of the screening and gurney room in Soylent Green.

I miss you.  I miss you.  I miss you.  I want you to be happy.  I want to be able to attend your wedding sometime in the future, room full of friends and family, complete with cheesy disco ball and loud music at the reception.  I want to see you in a fabulous tux, your partner by your side.  I want to get silly weepy sitting next to the love of my life while you get to marry yours.  I want my boys to see what a healthy, happy couple you make.   I want you to have all the benefits and pains of being married.  I want you to know you are not only equal in our eyes, but everyone else’s too.  It seems to me irrational, stupid, and grossly unjust that others would want you to suffer.

Hey, it’s ok if you think us soft and boring.  It’s even ok if you make fun of me after all these years for being a somewhat stereotypical “american” wife-person.  I would expect you to.  But I still miss you.  You have been one of a very few best friends for twenty-seven years now.

Here’s my fantasy film: I want to stumble across a bag full of money (say ill-gotten drug money accidentally lost, or the one day I buy a lottery ticket and win) and pay off all our bills.  Send some money to all my friends and relatives, of course. Put some in a box under the bed (it seems the best place for it lately) for the future.  No morality tale attached.  Just a stroke of good luck.  The first non-essential?  Go to visit you. Yes, one of the first things I would do is visit you.  I hope you are well, I am sorry I missed your call last week.  I am sorry life goes by so fast and we live so far apart.  I’ll howl with you in mind this morning.  And maybe soon, I’ll get to visit and we’ll sit on the beach and stare out at the still-living ocean together in that lovely, California weather at sunset.  Keep me updated.

Life goes on.

Love, C

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