09 April 2013


I awoke this morning with Simon and Garfunkel’s “Dangling Conversation” playing on my internal sound track. They sing: “And you read your Emily Dickinson and I my Robert Frost, and we note our page with bookmarkers, and measure what we’ve lost.” On one level the song expressed the emotional distance that had developed between two people. I think I am reminded in these lines of the scene in Citizen Kane when the breakfast table between he and his wife grows in size and they in distance until they are sitting at opposite ends of a huge dining table and she is reading a rival newspaper.
And “Dangling Conversations” also defined the anomie, the sterility of the culture in which I grew up and into which I was supposed to move. It was only a few years later that The Graduate would explicitly portray the angst of my generation.
So I wondered what it meant that this particular sound track played last night in my dreams. What provoked that playlist? And my first response was the most mundane and also the truest, I think. Here it is: sometimes, my friends and I sit at the coffee house and discuss world events (about which mostly we agree), our domestic lives (about which mostly we agree), and compare the growing quantity of those little plastic white-topped butterscotch colored bottles that contain the prescribed medicines that sit on our shelves. And these don’t always agree. One suffers from hypertension and another from diabetes; this one has a heart condition and that one experiences anxiety attacks; this one prepares for her colonoscopy and that one for hip replacement.
You read your Emily Dickinson, and I my Robert Frost. 


Post a Comment

<< Home