Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Look

Yeah, I'm playing around with the appearance of my blog. Brighter, easier to read (I think). Still a work in progress.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm Not That Guy

"Take off your hat."

I don't remember if the TSA guy half my age said that politely or even appended the word please. He was staring at my driver's license suspiciously, comparing my lined, tired face to the photo and...I looked different? Really?!

For some reason, his request (if that's what it was supposed to sound like) infuriated me. I've endured the usual indignities associated with commercial travel. In Frankfurt in 1972, a bored German soldier motioned me to put my hands up with a mumbled "bitte." In Fort Myers, Florida an obnoxious TSA employee seized an entirely ordinary-looking bottle of water from a woman looking about seventy, waved it triumphantly and bellowed "People, this is not permitted through security. Okay, people?" I've done the shoeless shuffle, sometimes in the presence of sympathetic security folks trying to keep it endurable. Others seem to enjoy the misery they heap. So yesterday's hat tip should have been no different, just another petty request.

But it wasn't, and I think I know why. It's that I'm not the guy they are after. Really. I'm not that guy. And I know it, even if no one else does.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm Sure I Heard His Echo

Graham Patrick Gaffney was going to be born on December 9th, 2010. He had to be.

It snowed that evening outside the hospital in Ann Arbor, and also in Rochester, NY, where I tended to funeral arrangements for my father. He had passed away almost a week prior, losing a long battle (as was his destiny) to Alzheimer's disease.

I wanted desperately to be at my daughter's side. Her son was arriving ten weeks early, her own health failing as she fought to give little Graham every chance at life. A day, an hour.... Extra minutes of womb time might mean the difference between a healthy - if tiny - child and disaster. She called to tell me she was headed for surgery. Neither of us tempted fate expressing "if" thoughts. We'd left nothing unsaid, anyway.