June 22, 2003
One of my faithful journal readers, J.Rae, sent me a different take on being called the biggest jackass in the history field: “A jackass knows how to take care of himself, for thousand of years they earned the right to their proud stubbornness and independence, much like their cousin the mule, they possess a keen intuition and rely on self preservation. Perhaps the "smartass" that called you a "jackass" didn't realize the honor he bestowed upon you.”
Had a very productive day yesterday. Got most of my books up off the floor and put back in the library. Of course I found numerous things that have been lost for ages (a sweeping photo panorama of Gudalupe Canyon where Geronimo once surrendered and where Old Man Clanton and friends were ambushed and killed). I found a pen and ink scratchboard of my son Thomas that nails that White Boy Gangster look that was so prevalent about five years ago. Here it is. Actually a pretty good likeness. It will make a nice present to his kids when they turn 15. Ha (File this under Petty Parent Behavior #376)
Swam laps for an hour. Felt great. Got dressed up and drove into Scottsdale with Kathy at about four and saw the movie The Man With No Past, ($13 cash). Unfortunately there was another movie with a similar title playing at Camelview 5 called The Man On The Train. I got the tickets punched, told Kathy to go save us two seats while I got some popcorn. The ticket taker said our movie was “the second theatre on the left.” I got my popcorn, went down the hall and went in the second theatre. Couldn’t see Kathy, figured she was in the bathroom. I quickly staked out two middle seats about half-way down. Perfect. Ten minutes went by, no Kath. I turned to my seatmates and said, “My poor wife is probably in the wrong theatre. Would you save these seats for me while I go get her?” The husband gave me that sympathetic look that husbands get when we are feeling cocky and superior.
I went out into the hall and looked up at the title above our theatre and it said, “The Man On The Train.” Oops! I ran back in, grabbed the bottled water and popcorn and said to my support group, “I’m in the wrong theatre.” They gave me that look that says, “You may be a jackass in other fields besides history.” I had become The Man With No Brain.
The movie was okay (6.5). Those damn Fins are dryer than a Norwegian funeral. Afterwards we had dinner at Charleston’s ($45 cash). Fun meal and a good talk about a certain friend of ours who’s acting like a big baby.
Grandma Betty came out this morning and I made breakfast for the girls. Talked quite a bit about forgiveness and the guilt and regret we all seem to harbor. I feel particularly guilty about my father’s death. I got a call from him in the hospital and he said he was feeling awful (a family friend had called an ambulance after finding him on the floor of his house). An hour later, a hospital administrator called me and told me there was nothing wrong with my father and they were going to send him home. I pleaded with the guy to keep him there under observation, but the guy said, “In the old days, we could have, but we have checked him out and we can’t keep someone in the hospital if there is nothing wrong with them.” Four hours later I got a phone message from the same guy telling me my father was dead. I could have driven there in three hours and perhaps. . .
“What can you do with the past? Forgive it. Let it enter into you in peace.”
—Dame Iris Murdoch