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.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lucky Doughnut

I wouldn't call myself superstitious; in fact, I'm probably the most rational person I know. I sometimes talk about certain "lucky" objects, but these are not things I fool myself are bringing me luck. Rather, they're things that have good associations for me, and so have come to symbolize good fortune. Like lucky doughnuts, for example. For perhaps the past seven years, just about every blissful moment in my life has been punctuated by a Boston cream doughnut.

I can remember a particular summer night about five or six years ago. In those days I was working 12-hour night shifts at Intel, about 70 miles away. Also going to school fulltime, so I hardly slept. I was heading home about three a.m., which was nothing special for me, driving my Mercedes convertible with the top down. I was on one of those old two-lane highways in the southeastern part of the state. There were no lights, no buildings, just black trees and stars. On the CD player was a mix labeled "Top Down" I had made just for riding at night. The air was soft, the road deserted. I was feeling very mellow, thinking, my life couldn't get much better than this.

And then I spotted a Dunkin Donuts up ahead on the right. Not only open, but with a couple of cars and a big rig pulled up in the lot. I remember wondering where those vehicles had come from--there had been zero traffic in either direction. I stopped, bought a cup of coffee and a Boston cream doughnut, and drove away slowly with my booty on the console, licking chocolate icing and custard, thinking, okay, now my life is absolutely perfect.

Tuesday I was on the movie set, working outside all day in the cold. Steaming hot coffee was uppermost on everyone's mind. I went to get my first cup, passing up the usual premium snacks: fresh berries, pistachio nuts, cashews, dried apricots, fancy granolas, midget Snickers bars, and so on and on. But then the familiar pink-and-orange box caught my eye. (DD is a Boston-based company, omnipresent on local movie sets.) And yes, there was one Boston cream in the assortment. I elbowed a couple of extras out of the way...that was my lucky doughnut.

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