Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Two for a Monday Night

• It's a delicious night. Perfect temperature. Perfect air. Around 9:30 p.m., I left my office and was startled to cross paths with a tiny skunk. (What is it with all the skunk encounters lately?) Lucky for me, the skunk wasn't fazed. It scuttled merrily along the path, pausing only to take in the smells beneath a wire trash can. The doors to our building happened to be propped open, and I found myself hoping, rather perversely, that the skunk might wander in. Instead, it wandered on across the campus, its pale back faintly aglow in the moonlight.

• A few weeks ago, I wrote an elderly friend to say (among other things) that I have a ceramic owl on my office shelf. The owl once belonged to his long-deceased wife, who was very kind to me thirty years ago, back when we were neighbors. Her name was Margaret, but, with my baby's tongue, I re-named her "Po-Po." Tonight I came home to a small envelope, plump with mysterious cargo. It turns out that my elderly friend decided to send more memories of Po-Po. The envelope was stuffed with Kodachrome slides from the early 1970s, slides of a tiny-fat me with Po-Po and my astonishingly young parents. I squinted at Po-Po and tried to remember what she looked like without her dark sunglasses. I stared at my shiny-young parents and felt a little sad that Adam and I didn't meet sooner.

8 Comments:

At 1:24 AM, Blogger Professor Dyke said...

Hmm . . . I like skunks. Plus, they always remind me of the ending lines in Robert Lowell's poem, "Skunk Hour." (And what a marvelous package you received from your elderly friend!)

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger Nels said...

What a beautiful gift!

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

I looked up "Skunk Hour," which I hadn't ever read before. Thanks for making me aware of it, Prof. Dyke.

 
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