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Anniversary

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

Today we decided to go to Malibu and live out our Rockford Files fantasies. Except, you know, the car.

In theory this was our anniversary, but of what exactly? It has been fifteen years since we rocked up at the 24 Hour Church of Elvis, got hit with a magic wand, signed some papers, accidentally ended up on the evening news. Though in my view that was simply the day we scammed a discriminatory system, the day I became officially eligible for health insurance.

The only vows we took, the only promise I could have made given the distrait circumstances? To remain friends.

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Forty

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

I wanted to go to a medieval jousting banquet somewhere near Anaheim but the children objected on aesthetic grounds, and Byron claimed to be "allergic."

See? My birthday is always so difficult!

Given the constraints of the guests, my nostalgia for childhood misadventures in California, the fact that I already miss England, and Byron's academic affiliation, the destination was obvious. We collected up my mother and the children from their Disney sojourn and ventured forth to spend the day on the Queen Mary.

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Cult

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

Traveling back down Gene Autry Way, everything here is familiar and known. Comfortable. Understood. References to public scandals I've never heard about about feel correctly calibrated. I no longer recognise the people in the newspaper, but I get the cadence.

The real puzzle is not the fact that I live in a different country: it is the fact that I am no longer poor. I'm living out the classic story of the country boy seeking his fortune in the big city, but how many of those novels have happy endings?

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Rhetorical

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 13:27 -- Bee

Rhetorical question: when traveling on my American passport, how long does it take for extreme drama to come snarling toward me like the most lethal sort of emotional hurricane?

Answer: something like three minutes.

There is no way to predict exactly what will go wrong, but something always does. This winter the controversy is in my so-called private life, and while I normally refrain from comment I am now far too old to obey the rules of etiquette imposed by blood kin.

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Mournful

Sat, 01/01/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

I'm driving around endless ugly sprawling suburbs listening to AC/DC and feeling mournful. It is just like being young again, except for the music.

The most shocking visible difference? Despite excessive fuel costs, people appear to be driving ever larger vehicles. I'm a child of the seventies, I remember fuel rationing - and everyone switched to smaller cars, even my grandparents. And they owned a petrol station!

I guess folks nowadays need the new bigger cars to drive to their new bigger houses in new bigger suburbs?

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Decade

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

Ten years ago I had never really ventured past the Rockies, never been to Europe, never traveled alone. I didn't have much money but scraped together enough for a birthday trip to NYC, booking a ticket that connected in half a dozen cities before depositing me in the middle of the night in a shuttered and frozen Long Island airport.

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Wound

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 04:06 -- Bee

Last summer I dragged my charming companion to a specialist to have his suspicious moles examined. The doctor was dismissive until I asserted my highly specialised personal knowledge of skin cancer. Several hundred cancerous lesions does tend to lend a certain credibility to the proceedings.

He asked me "I presume you have regular check-ups?"

I shrugged and replied "Conceptually."

"What does that mean?"

"It means I don't like to be cut."

The doctor did not approve of this wayward answer.

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Wise

Sun, 12/12/2010 - 07:45 -- Bee

I've never believed people can change; circumstances, yes, people, no. We are what we are from birth until death, and people tell you everything you need to know within five minutes of meeting. Yes, experience can temper attitude, people mature or deteriorate, but beyond that?

It is wise to listen to the stories people tell. Whether truthful or fiction, the future of your relationship is all contained in the introduction.

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Legitimate

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 02:52 -- Bee

It is so nice my daughter is an adult: the risk of kidnapping has vanished!

I can disclose my location, discuss and describe my immediate vicinity, share contact information! On my daily perambulations I can look at flowers instead of scanning for bad guys!

I no longer need to sit with my back against the wall.

Miles and years have converted the threat to piquant dinner table anecdote, but it was legitimate. Real. True. Not just a shouted refrain in a custody dispute: oh no. Someone factually held a loaded handgun to my head and made very sure I understood.

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