Friday, July 21, 2006

I spent a small bit of time this afternoon with a wee baby named Maisy, a name that has an unfortunate association with the careless mama bird in "Horton Hatches an Egg." She's just a few weeks old, which is one of my favorite baby-times: you can tell that they're just taking everything in and figuring it out. You could see her personality developing right inside her little head.
The evening was passed mostly lying in front of the fan, eating plums and cantaloupe and pretending that at any moment a houseboy would appear with a frosty rum drink.

Before Toby's mom split town they lived next door to a withered old French Canadian lady with a terribly quaint accent and a withered apple face. She spent most evenings on her porch, chewing tobacco and spitting daintily in a bucket next to her chair, and some of those evenings we would join her. Tobes and I had a habit of sitting on the steps and going over the last few days, and when something caught her ear she'd jump in with a story. If anything unpleasant happened, invariably she'd sigh and say, "Well, I'll just take a brace and carry on, and if I can't look pleasant I'll look as pleasant as I can."
I spoke with Tobes tonight--hearing a telephone conversation while lying in front of a fan is no easy feat--and at the end of the conversation he made an uncanny impersonation of his old neighbor. And that's just what I plan to do. After all, thistles may at any point bear figs.

Besides, Miss Manners has always told us that, "Good hearted people who hit others with their burdens are rude," and not even melancholy and malcontent are reasons for rudeness.

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