Rolling the Rock Aside

Happy Easter. As has been pointed out by my more astute readers, I promptly blew the ’10 posts-10 days’ thing pretty quick. I’ll make it up with a ‘Twofer Tuesday’ or something.

Kenny’s surgery apparently went well. He may even be conscious. I’ll call him later today.

Yesterday Sam’s car broke down on the highway. It sounded like a real mess. He was on his way here to pick up his computer that Tommie fixed. Tommie picked him up and brought him back here where he tried to make arrangements for a tow. Using the ‘net he tried a dozen of different companies and they either didn’t answer or couldn’t make it. He finally called a friend of Tom’s that runs a tow company. He said he’d be there in an hour and Sam and I left to meet him. Sam’s Jeep was in the parking lot of a car wash at Larwence and River Roads tucked in a corner of Schiller Park that really should be Chicago at that point but it’s difficult to tell where one or the other so close to the airport because the boundaries get quite obscure. As a result, the tow truck driver seemed to be having a hard time figuring out where we were. He called from the intersection of 53 and 355 to tell us it was going to be a while yet and that was when I made a genius suggestion: Sam was getting a newer car and wouldn’t be fixing the fifteen year old Jeep so why not just try to drive the car back home and save a couple hundred bucks? The car still ran, it just was making a noise like rocks in a clothes dryer and doing a little shimmy and shake-there weren’t any leaking fluids and I thought we might be able to make it back even if it finally destroyed the engine, which, as he was going to ultimately ditch the car wasn’t going to make a big difference anyway. We went back and forth on the idea. Sam seemed to be resigned to waiting for the tow truck when he got out of my car and got on the phone. I watched him talk for a few minutes and then he hopped in his car and started driving it. Surprised, I followed him. We made it about a mile to just south of O’hare airport when the Jeep gave a final shudder and Sam drifted off to the shoulder. I pulled up behind him. It was very dark and we were on a busy road without sidewalks or anything nearby. I turned on my hazards and a moment later there was a tow truck behind me. It was a moment of pure confusion for me; I wondered if Sam had arranged for the tow to meet us or something but it turned out that it was just a passing tow truck driver who noticed my hazard lights and offered to help. He was more than willing to tow Sam’s car and take him back to Naperville. I went home to have dinner with Tommie and Miss Mayweather.

Speaking of Miss Mayweather and being conscious on Easter, I just left a comment on the Port Awesome blog that reminded me of Lily and Easter. A decade or more ago her birthday landed on the Saturday between Easter and Good Friday. We took her to a Greek restaurant, got thrown out of a stupid nightclub for being intoxicated and found ourselves drinking into the early morning at the Beacon Tap in Des Plaines (an utterly inconspicuous bar that somehow ends up appearing as a backdrop for dozens of tales over the years). Back then she was the activity director for a nursing home and I ran a record store. We both had to be at work the next morning and we both realized early on that we were not merely hung over but still drunk. I wavered and clung to my coffee, reeking of booze as families in their Easter Sunday best stopped into the store after church to buy music. Lily had to run an Easter Egg Hunt for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. I pointed out to her that being loaded to the gills might have been the best way to experience that sort of thing.

I read this essay this morning, and it stuck with me. I am not an athiest but I am not certain as to what other people mean when they use the word ‘God’. When I have talked about God with people who have been labeled as autistics I find their descriptions and ideas to be far more intriguing than those of individuals whose concept of God coincidentally confirms all of their prejudices and provincialisms. When Kenny is feeling up to it I want to discuss this letter that Jefferson sent to Adams toward the end of their long correspondence. Ironically, this letter is often referred to by quote-mining Creationists in their efforts to give some intellectual heft to the hollow idea that is ‘Intelligent Design’ but it’s apparent that none of them have bothered to read the entire text of the letter or they wouldn’t be so swift to draw attention to the document. On this Easter 2008 I will leave you with the words of that brilliant contradictory man, that quintessential American who owned slaves but was committed to freedom for individuals, who was an aristocrat who believed in Democracy, and a scientist who believed in God.

‘The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.’ -Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823.

   Happy Easter.

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