It's raining today, and if you're stuck inside and can't see the rain I'm sorry for you, because I believe that rain is one of the nicest things that can happen on a given day. There's still plenty of green to be seen in the trees if not the fields, but the air is cold and damp in a way that can only happen in autumn, and the seemingly defiant holdouts of Indian Summer are beginning to hint at the inevitable loss of their chlorophyll, and the listless end of their brief and sunlit existence. But you know that already, and there's no point in repeating it to you, save, perhaps, the fact that I like to read myself think.
I watched a televised debate between politicians last night, an experience which was far more instructive than I'd expected it to be. When it was all over, and the networks worked frantically to retain their viewers, the television chirped with this commentator or that, plus the occasional (supposedly) real human being, giving their estimation of who had won and why. What surprised me was that everyone who managed to crowd their way into the glowing Idiot Box in my sister's living room seemed to get exactly what they were looking for out of the thing. They all thought their man had won, and were able to point to a specific sentence uttered by him to support their assertion. "These idiots!" I said to myself, "those two buffoons stood there and said absolutely nothing for two hours!" (Actually, I don't know how long it was.)
That's when it hit me: That's what I was looking for. Damn it. Don't misunderstand me, I've always known that I have my biases. I just forget about them until I run into them again, which is always a frightening experience, given how influential biases can be. It's a little like arriving at some unintended destination, and then realizing that you have no idea who's been driving the car (or so I imagine; it's never really happened to me). Who is this person, and where has he taken me?
I've always said that it's important to understand yourself, yes sir, but I never did end up telling you how it came to be that she married so young and so wealthily to the Railroad and Axle Grease Baron, who was only after her looks and the way she could clear her throat before reciting a poem, which I suppose isn't so bad a reason as you might at first think, since we're not going to be around long enough to enjoy all of those telegrams and warm wishes and Canned Cream Corn (CCC) nearly as much as we would like to. She once told me that if she had her druthers, which is a rare thing for someone to have, like a deathbed conversion in the belly of a whale (you might say), she'd have played accordion at the Conservatory and maybe gone on to teach there as well, but then she never did learn to play the ridiculous thing, and I doubt that they'd have much use for it on Walnut Street if she did. You see, there was never enough time or money in the house, and so those of us who cared about such things (as I did at the time) did a great deal of looking for them outside of the house, which in its way was more productive than probing the ether for some nebulous Meaning of Life, since that's what we found anyways, by accident. If only we hadn't lost it we could have told her what it was, and whether or not it was alright that things turned out exactly the way she'd always said they would, but we did, and so we couldn't.