Secret Pop

Oct 27, 2003

Save that Daylight

I'm a hypocrite. Because I grouse about daylight savings time when it requires me to lose an hour in the spring, but I dig it wholly in October. When it gets dark earlier and I get to pretend I can actually feel the value of that extra hour of my life bulging in my wallet.

This was a particularly memorable daylight savings weekend. One of my very dearest friends had to rush down to San Diego, expecting from earlier reports that his family's home in Valley Center had been devoured by flames. Miraculously, the house was untouched. Surrounded by blackened, charred earth, but untouched. They don't believe in god, so I don't know if "miraculously" is the most appropriate adverb. In any case, it was a fortunate relief. He spent the day dipping a pitcher into the swimming pool and putting out spot fires as they popped up. And my younger sister teaches at a school in Scripps Ranch, one of the communities hardest hit by the patchy, countywide inferno. I hope all of her kids are all right. I also noticed (meanly) that a lot of the street names mentioned in the recap of the Scripps Ranch fire were very French. Rue de la this and Rue de la that. I actually thought, "La di da." But I don't wish those people any harm for pretending that a desert-like inland portion of San Diego County was a village in Provence. Really, I don't. Truthfully, I do hope the devastation wasn't too great. We know about things burning down in my family. And I don't mean that metaphorically.

My family's home burned down a few years ago, but it was just us, and no one was hurt, and we didn't lose everything. I wasn't living in the house any longer, but a lot of my stuff was there. And I went through it all with my family as they relocated for a year and salvaged and repurchased and redesigned and rebuilt. Sometimes, whole sections of your life can be cordoned off llike that, and you don't even realize that you spent two years going through that event. It's hard to swallow it in those terms.

Reading that people were consumed by the flames while running away on foot or trying to drive away in cars is horrific for me to imagine. It made me do that exercise of asking myself which would be a worse way to die. I tend to use recent events as a list for this. Today, it's a) burned to death in your car, b) eaten by a grizzly bear, c) mauled to death by one of those raging zombies in 28 Days Later. I can't decide. I don't think I can come up with a good way to die. I'm against it philosophically. Although, I guess I realize that if we didn't have death, not only would the world be choked with old people, but we also probably wouldn't have ever achieved very much. What's the motivation to do anything if you aren't afraid of dying before you manage to finish it?

Anyway, I started writing with the intention of somehow admitting that I think Justin Timberlake is attractive. I think tangentially.

No comments: