Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Elephant In The Room

There's one in our bedroom and it's the first thing I see in the morning if I'm facing west. I open my eyes to one of the fourteen bookcases scattered about our apartment. This one is crammed with an assortment of mostly non-fiction books from a baseball encyclopedia to the three volume letters of Vincent Van Gogh to a shelf of anthologies and some old left history books, too dated to read with too many memories to discard.

The elephant is a wind-up toy which sits in front of a collection of the Best Essays of the Century. She is riding a bicycle while her upright snout balances a beach ball from a long pole. I prefer to see the ball as the globe. As she pedals the world spins. It seems like a fragile thing but my elephant remembers how and hasn't let us down yet.

I had a dream last night that the home plate umpire took off his black to reveal an all-white attire. He then started pitching for Peggy and me and was unhittable. In the dream I remarked to Peggy how fortunate we are to have the ump on our side. At that I woke up.

I'm thankful for all our innings together and for the elephant in the room who keeps us in orbit. I almost typed obit. Strange how close and far away those two words are.

Maybe all this is my oblique way of dealing with death and dying; that other elephant prowling around but not yet in the room; just beyond my imagining. We have an entire lifetime to come to terms with it but can't.

If I first open my eyes in the morning to the east I see Peggy rhythmically breathing and making those wonderful sleep sounds we all make. That and the spinning planet are all the reassurance I need to ward off the dreaded elephantine shadows.


  1. Upon awakening ourselves, the sounds of healthy sleep of the partner is one of our greatest joys. Jack

  2. With your skewed politics Norm I woulda thunk the last thing in your room would be an elephant.

    Where have all the donkeys gone?

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