Friday, February 11, 2005

It's been a long week, and I left work early this afternoon followed by a storm of paper airplanes fired by my coworkers who chased me away from my desk. I have great coworkers. The Seattle that I walked out into was shiny and blue and so pleased with itself it fairly squeaked, and I decided to walk home. A handful of steps down the road and my lovely city had already handed me back the bounce in my step. All at once I was pleased again, smiling at folks in cars and staring at the sky, trying to look so hard that I could burn this whole place into the back of my skull. A busload of kids drove past and waved at me, and I waved back with both hands.

Arthur Miller died last night. I heard about it first thing this morning, not too long after I came into work sleepy and grumpy and ready to go home. As is always the case when this happens--and it's always happening, my writers dying off--I fled to the one perfect bunch of words that's distilled his work for me: "And so there is hardly a week that passes when I don't ask the unanswerable--what am I now convinced of that will turn out to be ridiculous? And yet one can't forever stand on the shore; at some point even if filled with indecision, skepticism, reservation and doubt, you either jump in or concede that life is forever elsewhere." It's been looping in my head all day in a dusty corduroy voice.

I'd say that we'll miss you, Mr. Miller, but I've got you right here in my house.

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