Wednesday, February 9, 2011

domino effect

"It's a lousy way to start the day," my younger son observed this morning.

He was referring to the fact that the car in which he generally drove to school was idling in the driveway with the keys locked inside and no way to find the extra key that was kicking around the house somewhere. His mother generally starts the car as a means of warming the interior before she heads to work in her own car. My son heads out five or ten minutes later. But not today.

The fact that his car was stuck in the driveway until the tow service arrived meant that my car, parked in front of his, was likewise immobilized and I had to miss a medical appointment. And my daughter's car was also blocked ... everyone lined up like dominoes in the icy driveway. All for lack of an extra key. All for lack of the forethought that would have simply left my son's car unlocked ....

Shit happens and some days getting out of bed is more pleasant than others.

In South Carolina, workers saved a newborn boy from freezing to death in a sports arena portable toilet. The mother had given birth and then left the child to die, but the cleaning crew saved the boy and the woman is now in custody. All eyes are fixed on the potential death of the child, the imagined hard-heartedness of the mother ... the judgments that arise from the incident.

But stories never tell the whole story. The story of the infant saved from the piss and shit does not say anything about the circumstances of the mother ... how and why she might have felt driven to do what she did. I'm not trying to sketch some white-whine, find-an-excuse, argument. I'm just interested in how every story has a story and each of those stories has a story. No one can tell "the story." They can only tell "a story."

My wife had her reasons for starting my son's car and then locking the car as it ran. My son had his reactions to a day on which his usual schedule was upended. I felt the fallout as well and called to medical office to inform them of my dilemma. That office no doubt had to rethink its scheduling. The car-towing service got some business. The woman in South Carolina sits behind bars and her newborn recovers in the hospital. And here I sit writing about dominoes ... which some poor fool will then read ... or not.

The "interconnectedness" of all things is kool to talk about and suck on like a lollipop.

And then there is the interconnectedness for real. Story heaped on story. Story intersecting with and infusing stories. Call it oneness and run the very real -- and warranted -- risk of someone's calling you an asshole. Call it different and run precisely the same risk.

But it is interesting, I think.

1 comment:

  1. AKA Ray Bradbury and The Butterfly Effect: