By the afternoon I was holding my son in my arms. I left his mother to sleep for a while, drove home and – went for a run. I’m the father of three, and I know there’s no accounting for anything in the feelings of parents. But whatever the reasons, this was the most euphoric I ever was over the arrival of a child. I felt – I don’t know – limitless, transcendent, as if I were floating rather than running.
Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’
Theater Reviews Page | Previous Theater Review | Next Theater Review Shepherdstown 2012 and the Rise of the Rolling Premiere Published in the Hopkins Review, Winter 2013, New Series 6.1 Take a healthy organism, deny it the environment in which it grows, and it may seek a new environment and new ways of propagating. Serious American theater […]
And there is much melody in this ditty, especially as contributed by a deceptively simple ukelele. Hearing that plangent instrument obsessing over a C# minor 7th chord with McCartney’s sweet falsetto crooning the leading tone at the top and then swooping down through the chord to the tonic, lifts you into a sublime, solitary, and calm place.
If that day taught me a lesson, it concerned the occasional moments of grace that drop into our lives, days where downtime unexpectedly becomes time out from one’s cares. For one gorgeous, sunny day I was forced to stare out the window of a cozy two-car train at some of the prettiest creation Pennsylvania has to offer.
The first car may frequently be more important in a young man’s life than the first sex. Sometime in the first two weeks of May 1969, my dad bought me mine, a well-used blue Chevrolet Nova. The car finally necessitated that I get a job, in order to pay for insurance. The following Monday I was at the gate of the Grove Street plant of the Ford Motor Company.
Whatever I was thinking, and I swear I don’t know, the result was that my little musical contribution to the theatrical end product was to strip out any musical context for a racial argument largely couched in musical terms.
Around 1:30 on the Sunday morning, someone mishandled a cigarette near some combustible Christmas decorations. The ground floor was promptly engulfed in flames, which then quickly spread up the one stairway to the second floor. People on the second floor were trapped. Many jumped from the window, some were pushed from the window by frantic partygoers behind them …
However, for sheer guillotine-like intensity and definitiveness of severance, nothing in our society, short of divorces and funerals, begins to compare to the moment when parents leave kids off at college for the first time.
The summer after my graduation was perfect. I wasn’t working; couldn’t find any. So I kept my own hours — noon to 3 a.m., working on the Great American High School Novel. Only problem: I really had nothing to say about high school. But I think my inchoate hope was that by making sense of it all through fiction, I could still get the girl to love me.