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12 May 2003 (Monday): black and white

My goodness, I had no idea I had a devoted following. One flippant sentence, five comments.

I will try to be a more deserving blogger. Thanks for reading.

My brain is hard-wired to think in metaphors: I can understand things so long as there's a symbol to represent it, an allegory or analogy to draw. Recently I have come to understand this: at some point in my childhood, in an elaborate and slightly scary ceremony, my father presented me with a demon. He motioned for me to hold out my hands and to cup them, like so, and into my waiting palms he deposited the tiny black winged creature, hissing and fluttering. I lifted it up to my face and it crawled up my nose and into my head, and it lives there to this day. My father has no recollection of performing this ceremony and neither do I, but it happened.

I find my neuroses much easier to tame, in light of this story. I don't blame Dad. Given personality, cultural history, environment and circumstance, this is how it had to happen. He would never, never consciously give me such a creature to haunt me; he loves me too well, wishes me too much happiness for that. But I know where the little black beast comes from: it's a family heirloom. He had to bequeath it to somebody. And though I can try to teach it manners, coax it to take up knitting or yoga or some such, one day I'll bestow some incarnation of it on my own children.

Spent yesterday afternoon with my mom and her mom, hanging out in a mall cafe, laughing at my grandmother's coffee-drinking habits (lots of cream and twelve packets of sugar: "are you sure it's coffee you're having?"). Later Liz and I thumbed through photo albums of our parents' wedding. Mom was 23, and so beautiful.

posted by enjelani @ 12:21 PM PST

Replies: 10 comments

this is unrelated to your post, but..

did you finally finish Cryptonomicon? Is it no longer on your nightstand? I'm 4/5ths done. Reading a chapter a night makes for slow progress.

posted by echeng @ 12 05 2003 03:56 PM PST

Oh, we all do this. I watch my daughter try to play nicely with the demon I gave her. It is a bittersweet thing.

posted by Moonpuddle @ 12 05 2003 08:33 PM PST

12 packets of sugar? Goodness... even I don't put 12 packets of sugar in my coffee. Then again, that could be because I drink soft drinks instead which have much more sugar than that...

posted by dishi @ 13 05 2003 06:06 PM PST

two quick things:

(1) it's good to see you posting again! :-) i've missed your metaphors.

(2) eric's comment about Cryptonomicon caught my eye... i am just bewildered as to how anyone could read that book one chapter at a time. :-) i've read it twice, both times during the summer, which meant that i had time to pretty much swallow it whole... an amazing experience, if you have the time to just absorb yourself in the book. if you haven't finished it, i highly recommend just giving up a saturday to do so. it's worth it.

posted by Lynn @ 14 05 2003 07:03 AM PST

hi, lynn. yeah! believe me.. I really want to read the thing straight through. i'm just so busy that i don't get around to reading it until i am ready to go to bed. :(

posted by echeng @ 14 05 2003 03:03 PM PST

My brain is very much like the internet, constantly adjusting to the ever changing conditions. Packet loss and latency here and there, and some inventive, if somewhat immature, routing protocols that attempt to circumvent the problems ;) Heh, we definately all have our fair share of neuroses don't we?

On a side note, still really bummed I missed you when you were down this-a-way :( Have I mentioned you give some of the *best* hugs?! Hopefully I can grab s'more in the not too too distant future. Don't worry, my creatures are tethered to me ;)

posted by syndromes @ 14 05 2003 10:29 PM PST

No new posts, of late. It must be night in Blogland, Enjelani is asleep. Good time as any to talk about ghosts and demons :)

I found your choice of words interesting in this entry. "Teach it manners", "coax", as if the little beast were a favorite pet. Are you secretly glad to have her? What if she left? "Lost Pet: Small demon, black with wings, will live in your head if you let her. Answers to the name Medea. Sentimental value, with family for several generations. Reward offered for safe return."

posted by beefeater @ 22 05 2003 08:39 PM PST

my suspicions are at last confirmed. i thought it was you all along, b. :)

posted by enjelani @ 26 05 2003 07:43 PM PST

Right. I was wondering if you were paying attention ;-)

posted by beefeater @ 27 05 2003 10:42 PM PST


posted by jim @ 29 05 2003 10:26 AM PST