A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Right to Assemble...on a Chair

George and I met a couple of years ago when he was collecting signatures for his State Rep campaign. I didn't agree with every item on his platform, but I thought that having a State Rep right across the street couldn't be a bad thing. I'd have a better chance of bringing a slightly eccentric neighbor around to my way of thinking on issues than someone with whom I never even had a chance to speak.

George and I have in common a love of caffeine, of sitting on the front porch, and of talking late into the night. As November approached, many hours were spent on my porch or his, or in my kitchen, with assorted other friends and neighbors, arguing passionately about a variety of issues. I became very familiar with George's very strong views on fathers' rights, gay rights, abortion rights, constitutional rights. He didn't win, but this year, he's back in the race.

This is George's porch. For as long as I've known him, that little sign that says "Fathers' Rights" has been in the center of the door, and that American flag has been hanging next to it. And there's always been a kitchen chair on the other side.

Except it's not always been the same chair. George says he's had to replace his chair three times. Always with a shabby, nearly-free piece of furniture, the type you'd think you could leave outside without anybody bothering to steal. But, in fact, they keep getting stolen.

So George has installed a video camera. It's on 24/7, and it's trained on that chair. If the chair is lifted, he'll be able to look at the footage and identify the culprit.

That says a lot about the neighborhood I live in. But it says even more about George. If he ever gets elected, and he takes every issue as seriously as he does his right to leave a chair on the porch unmolested--watch out, Springfield!

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