We’re going to see Santa later today. Even though I have kind of been shopping for gifts already, I feel like going to see Santa is really the “official start” of the holiday season. The visit will be a bit of a haul. I’m actually driving to a mall that’s 20 miles away to avoid the creepy Santa at the mall that is closest. Let’s just say I’m opting for the least creepy Santa, and leave it at that.
Anyway, I got The Princess all dressed in her red-and-white-striped play dress and came down to the kitchen for breakfast. Getting ready to make my coffee, I hit the iPod for a little morning shuffle. The first song on deck turned out to be Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Weird? To give you an idea of how infrequently my iPod puts that song into the shuffle rotation: I didn’t recall that the song was even on my iPod.
So, you know I just finished The 19th Wife, right? Well, the word apostasy was all over that book. “Since Ann Eliza’s apostasy…Everyone knew of her apostasy…etc, etc.” It’s a word I don’t use often, so it kind of stuck in my head, and I played with it there, much like you might run your fingers over and over a smooth stone in your pocket.
Last weekend following a disasterous Notre Dame football game, and after stewing for more than an hour over the “incompetence” of the coaching, Manfrengensen said to me relatively out of the blue, “Do you know what the word apostasy means?” And it just so happened that I did.
Oh, and I just thought of another coincidental thing: Edison took a test last Saturday to sort of bench-mark his intelligence, and it was like the SATs, with verbal and math parts and a break in between. Manfrengensen drove him, and right before Edison came out, Manfrengensen was reading a story about wind power in the Wall Street Journal or The Economist that he had brought along for his wait. The piece explored the power of gales and the challenges of harnessing them. Anyway, Edison came out of the verbal part for his break, and Manfrengensen asked him how it had gone. Edison said he thought that he did okay, though there was one word he had to guess at. It was the word gale.
Speaking of apostasy, Edison is beginning to have his doubts. The other night he asked me if I was the one who really put all those presents under the tree. So, I looked at him skeptically and asked, “Does that really sound like something I would do?” He saw the foolishness of his inquiry then and admitted, “No, not really.”
It’s the last one for him, that’s fairly certain. I just want to enjoy his beautiful innocence for as long as it lasts.
“A lot o’ people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch o’ unconnected incidents ‘n things. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice o’ coincidence that lays on top o’ everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinkin’ about a plate o’ shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o’ shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconciousness.”
- Miller in Repo Man
This line rings true for me more often than I’d care to admit. Like sometimes, I’ll be thinking of The Incredible Hulk, and this will show up in my yard for no reason that I know:
I like how it’s busting out of its cover, ala Bruce Banner/Hulk. How did this ball come to settle near my trash cans? Did I will it there with my anticipation of this summer’s movie? Did it escape the angry kicks of the kid up the street? It most likely traveled on the wind of the weekend’s nor’easter, but coincidence? I think not.