My mother’s father would have been 100 years old today. On February 28, 1907, my grandfather was born in a small town in Romania/Transylvania called Varalmas. (aka AlmaÅŸu Mare)
(These numbers are taken from the website above. Add the digits together, and you get 36. Admittedly, some take longitude to a few more decimal places. But as long as you take it to 6 (or a multiple of 6) more decimal places, the sum is still a multiple of 18)
I have many fond memories of my grandfather.
* He taught me how to bowl. As some of you know, I don’t bowl extraordinarily well. That isn’t his fault. I recall him bowling over 200.
* He was always interested in new technology. In 1982 he bought me, my siblings, and my parents our first computer. A Commodore 64. Ironically (oh, yes, I’m pretty sure this is ironic) I was very loyal to the Commodore, and I swore at that time I would never own an Apple.
* He exercised by jogging around his basement, and always insisted on shoveling his own driveway during the winter — with a cast iron shovel. I have two ten-pound weights of his, which he used much more than I have.
* I remember eating waffles for dinner at my grandparents’ house, and he was the one who cooked them. I loved the idea of waffles for dinner. (He also had a Presto Sandwich maker, which I thought was cool. My mom made sandwiches in a toaster oven.)
* I’m told by my Mom, as a young man in Chicago, at Fort Sheridan, he served in the ‘Cavalry‘ in its final days. He had a cavalry sword engraved with a Star of David. After WWII he retired from the Air Force at the rank of Lt. Col.
update: For the numerologically inclined, you will note in the map above there is a highway (or whatever the Romanian term) near Varalmas. It happens to be numbered E60. You know how 64 becomes 40 when you crossover from Illinois to Missouri? Well if you follow E60 west over the Hungary (Magyarorszag) border and zoom in you will notice that E60 becomes 42. Cool? Yes, I know there are millions of numbers that I come into contact with every day, and I just make note of the numbers when they mean something to me.
It’s dangerous, in some sense, to talk personally about the experiences of life, of faily members come and gone.
The danger is always there, the sense that you haven’t said enough, talked enough.
You can catch that from me, perhaps.
Ill try to talk about anything, everything, because it’s how I know that I am ticking, responding, maybe even creating my life, the only one that I want to live, by how I find words to say something about anything that catches my eye, tickles my tummy, or wakes me up.
Dreams do all that, too.
I talk about dreams, now and then. My talk about them is fragmented, or of fragments. Some times, the dreams are so intense I wake up with words struggling to speak in my mouth, nearly strangling me for failing to speak them.
Always, the dreams are of those that I love and those that I fear. Sometimes, fear and love coincide, in the same person. And, too, sometimes, I meet in my Venn-diagrammed dreams people who are neither to love nor fear. They are the faceless ones, formless and unremembered, when I am awake. They creep out from the shadows of anonymity when I sleep, like sacred monsters springing out from my closet or from under my bed.
I know they are there, in memory, waiting to leap upon me.
And they do.