from "Getting Over Homer"

February 5, 2020
Two decades ago I excerpted a lovely bit from "Getting Over Homer" by Mark O'Donnell, a funny, wistful short novel I just reread- I can imagine seeing so much of my mid-20s, only-semi-requited-lover self in it, and its story of gay men either dying or being hyper vigilante about AIDS is poignant as well.

Anyway, here are some bits that are either terrific, or weirdly stuck in my head for decades, or both...

Crawford joined us. "That Deco poster is very valuable. He shouldn't hang it where the sun is going to bake it like that. It'll fade. Red is the most fugitive color."
"Fugitive?"
"Fugitive, it flees. It's the color that fades quickest with time." I thought of the ads in the window of the candy store where Dad was shot. True enough, the ice cream and potato chip images, and the smiling, outdated teen faces adoring them, had been sunburned to unappetizing, faint blues and grays.
For some reason "red is the most fugitive color" has really stuck with me.
I think of a story Sean brought home from CYO camp, about an Indian brave so in love with a maiden from the tribe across the lake he tries to swim over to her and drowns. The punchline is, And from that day to this, it has been known as Lake Stupid.

Life is a traffic jam of crosses to bear.

It was a little clammy in his darkling living room, but Sean sat without turning on a light.
I did not realize "darkling" was a word - "growing dark or characterized by darkness."
"Your eyes are different, too. Like if you had been kidnapped and raised by a different tribe." I heard that. Life may be a river, but more exactly it's a river delta, and every branch you choose or are swept into changes your course. Some jostling in the womb, a few minutes between births, a few playroom power struggles, and we who were one were already on different tributaries.
Spoken to the narrator by his twin brother's fiancée.
I like that description of "the butterfly effect"
"Well ... You know what they say, Blooey. Experience is the ability to recognize a mistake--when you make it again!"
An oldie but a goodie...

The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence.
Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Carl Sagan
Whoa, they kinda chopped off an important part...
I know I'm more of a in-the-family, fair-weather fan of the Red Sox than a die hard, but This Mookie Betts thing sucks out loud.