Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Post-Independence, The State of the Universe

A friend -- a glass artist & poet -- for whom I used to work, now works for Melinda, and he reports to me. It's not generally a good time, in the economic sense, for artists who survive (or don't!) on their work. In my work universe the stars have been shining steadily; we've managed to slip-slide through this recession, expecting our best year-to-date. But this friend, J., has been just getting by for the past year or so, and as R. suddenly quit last weekend, we had some serious need for help in this, one of our busiest times of the year, and he needed work.

So today, with tables turned, I put him through the preliminary paces, some of which he already knew from his own art-glass experience, and everything glided along smoothly. What could have been fraught was calm; what could have been awkward was greeted with grace, competency and good humor. (Thank-you.)


The rabbi's house across the street -- empty for two years -- now houses a new rabbi and his family. Rumor has it that there are ten children. TEN! From ages (I think) four to twenty-four. I cannot comprehend this. From my treehouse bedroom I have a prime view of their house, but so far no action. This might get interesting.

Some years ago, when Mark had a flooring business, we had a two-line landline at the house. After time and circumstance, I no longer needed both lines, so had one disconnected, but still had the two-line phone. Once, accidentally, I picked up the phone (there was a cord!) with the "line 2" button pushed, and there was a conversation happening on my disconnected line. A little while later I called a friend on this "disconnected" line, who identified the caller ID as Soloman Coen. In the phone book (remember those?!), I discovered that Soloman Coen lived across the street from me -- in the rabbi's house. I shared my "disconnected" line with the rabbi. Ha!

Now don't accuse me of not having enough to do, because at this time I was newly widowed with two teenagers and a bakery business, but some evenings when I'd be sitting on the sofa, I'd pick up line 2 just to see if anyone was there. A little entertainment, you know.

Mostly it was teenaged-girl angst, not terribly fascinating, but one time my son and I were holding the receiver between us and laughing hysterically, and the two girls on the line heard us, which of course just pushed us over into paroxysms of even more laughter.

Jesus that was funny.

It all went away eventually -- the land line, the corded phone, the rabbi and his family of girls. I married, moved away, came back, and now it begins again, and we're equipped with iPhones that offer "Facetime" and internet access.

Again, it's an altered universe, and I'm just trying to keep the steady pace.


  1. These were called 'party lines' in the UK. What a weird idea. A bit like sharing your bath, or coffee cup.

    Good luck with the Rabbit-like Rabbi.

  2. Cro, before I hit "publish", I did a final proofread, and had typed "rabbit" instead of "rabbi" twice!

    Freudian slip, I suppose.

    And this was long past the days of party lines. It was just odd. (And fun.)

  3. I know it's painful at times and probably surreal, but I am loving how you're weaving your circumstances into these stories --

  4. You're doing a lot better than I am at keeping up with all this tech universe!

    Love, C.