Nostalgia Social

Dear J-

Well, if the patterns hold right it might be twelve years before the Red Sox win the World Series again: see, there were three years between 2004 and 2007, and now six to 2013. Double that and you get twelve, right? Or do they only win in years that add up to six and nine? 2+0+0+4 = 6; 2+0+1+3 = 6; 2+0+0+7 = 9; the next opportunity for a nine year is 2016, right? So maybe even sooner. Of course this explains nothing about 1918 (1+9+1+8 = 19, but maybe that final digit being nine has something to do with it?) so … yeah. I’ve been reading Matthew Baldwin’s A Month of Son — I’m always impressed by the warmth and depth of his writing — which linked at one point to a self-diagnosis quiz on whether or not you have autistic tendencies. One of those, I dunno what you call it — trigger factors? tells? — was the idea that you see patterns in numbers.

I scored something like a twenty-nine, which is not terribly surprising, I suppose — Ben’s wife Sarah claims all engineers are borderline cases, but the problem with quizzes like that is self-selection and manipulation: you can tell the intent of each question and pick an answer that suits your purpose, much like the psychological screenings they had at my old job. That was five hundred questions about violence and how much you loved your parents, just like all the hoary old clichés about bearded, cardiganed psychiatrists puffing away on pipes and murmuring “that’s interesting” would have you believe. At the same time, though, there are times I wonder how it is I’m able to function socially, for which I credit my family.

After all, it’s not antisocial, it’s privacy right? Okay. Yeah. We stick to ourselves. That’s why I’m looking forward to tonight; we go out trick-or-treating with the kids and try to assemble a group outing, which lets the kids wear themselves out and also gives us a bit of a break from having to watch them alone, whining ruefully to each other, oh the things we could do but knowing what we’d be doing would be sitting at home letting the empty spaces grow between us. I wonder how much nostalgia we would have for the duplex in Davis if we hadn’t had the opportunity to go out and mingle every weekend. These things we choose to believe, the better us we talk about all the time, how much are empty words and wish fulfillment?

Mike

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