Dear J-

On some level it feels fraudulent: that’s really what you’ve got as an answer? After all of that? I sometimes think what I’d really be good at, where I’d really excel is in deciphering other people’s Excel spreadsheets. Understanding formulas, finding out why you did what you did, but whether that’s appropriate or not I never seem to know. Is it reasonable? Does it make sense? On the other hand I’m (at best) competent but not nearly advanced enough with many of the functions (my level stopped around the time I discovered the INDIRECT function, which is suitably strange enough to be called magic by those who don’t know better; was it Asimov who said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?

One of the things I do need tonight is lock lubricant; my car’s driver’s-side door has been balky, leading to the kids worried glances as they wait for me to fumble with the lock. It’s unhappy with me since it’s been cold and gray so I probably just need to … small things. Small things keep floating up to the surface without pause. Putting a drip loop into the extension cord. Converting the garage light to take T-8 tubes instead of T-12s, which aren’t even being sold any more. Installing more of the same dimmer switches so that the house makes sense, although to be honest we’re now pretty consistent, or at least we’ve learned the quirks of it by now. Small things matter.

Or does that become everything counts in large amounts? Lyrics are inescapable; we’ve got the radio on in the background with the kids and they’ve started singing along which makes their effect doubly potent; I could recite from memory the last couple of Taylor Swift songs (although you shouldn’t ask me to sing it: your ears may not be able to take that). I wonder … what happens ten, fifteen, twenty years from now; are these things as etched into their minds as I’d had at that age? Playin’ with the queen of hearts … well, with any luck they’ll remember it well. Perhaps I could get them to go with me to … ?



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