I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve thought about returning to this little blog over the past few years. These thoughts are always hastily put on hold because a girl who can’t even find the time to perform the rites of basic grooming does not have the time to blab into the ether. But, despite the fact that my hair remains unkempt and I have yet to tend to those pesky stray eyebrow hairs, the desire to write always creeps back in.
Lately, I’ve been asking my neighbor, a curmudgeon in his mid-seventies, to tell me a little more about his life. I’ve pushed for some insight into his experiences as a boy from a working class family in Boston, fresh from the service, who found himself on the Berkeley campus smack dab in the middle of the free speech movement. What comes back usually does so in fragments: self-absorbed rich kids.
Despite his reticence, I approach from different angles. Did you ever want to get married? Did you ever think about having kids? It doesn’t really matter to me that he barely answers. Because in the asking I am actually trying to tell him that his life is significant. I want to say to him that it doesn’t matter to me what his social status is or has ever been. Everyone has stories and every one of those stories is an access road into the fundamental meaning of the human experience. I simply want him to know that his stories matter.
And so, it has recently occurred to me, do mine.