Monday, November 07, 2011
I laugh, reading an anecdote by the highly productive Professor William Ian Miller in his essay, "Losing It."
January 13, 2010: I am defending to a colleague the wisdom of the police rounding up the usual suspects.
Me: Claude Rains was being more than a mere cynic, which of course he was also being, when he said "round up the usual suspects" because the usual suspects were not innocent but the known criminals of whatever the city was, Tangiers, Marrakesh, I forget which.
Me: I am going to go shoot myself.
N, 14, looking up from doing his DBQ essay: What?
Me: Just an anecdote about someone who is worrying about forgetting things as you get older... And oddly enough, it's about Casablanca, where your dad is right at this moment.
N: Casablanca? I thought he was in Morocco.
Me: Casablanca is in Morocco. Remember the African map you made for history a few weeks ago?
N: Oh. Yeah.
* * *
Dear Professor Miller,
You see, N. Miller, age 14 (no relation--you're not forgetting us) is just as forgetful as W. Miller, so don't worry. And you're so cheerful about the doom of decline. I like that. (And anyway, such a multi-pronged intellect who is tossing off a few books at 65 does not have too much to worry about when it comes to shrunken brains.) Good cheer above all--well, above much.
Yrs, with laughter all around--M