AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 4/22/2004 12:25:00 PM ----- BODY:

And in the end, the love you take...

Once there was a way to get back homeward. Once there was a way to get back home. Sleep pretty darling do not cry, And I will sing a lullaby. Golden Slumbers fill your eyes, Smiles awake you when you rise. Sleep pretty darling do not cry, And I will sing a lullaby.--The Beatles, Abbey Road
I've had the Beatles in my head a lot lately. Not sure why. Is there anything worse than when you drop $600 on your car, and there's still something wrong with it??? Well. Obviously, there is. But for our purposes, within the realm of our disaffected bourgeois lifestyle, let's say, there isn't. Except maybe the fact that despite purchasing some fairly expensive software that did uncover a metric buttload of spamware, spyware, one virus, and a partridge in a fucking pear tree on my godforsaken computer, some little bug is still making it restart whenever I try to sign on to AOHell. Piss. My new favorite curse is "piss", by the way. Not sure why. So now I have to call the friendly people at AOHell and get them to tell me why this is happening, other than the fact that their entire products sucks my ass and we really shouldn't be using it anyway, so I can continue to dial up to the Information Superhighway as long as I live in my parents' house. Thing is, I find myself in a nice little Catch-22. If I didn't live in my parents' house, I wouldn't have to worry about AOHell not working. But until I get AOHell to work, I'm not exactly going to be able to search Craigslist for apartments, now, am I? Meanwhile, my parents have been bringing home ever more junk from my grandparents' house. The sale on the house closes today, and then the Great Circle of Life continues. As with my car and computer, this is really not unexpected or above and beyond what everyone has to face in their lives. But that doesn't mean it doesn't suck. The hardest part for my dad was unplugging what he called "The Eternal Flame"--a lamp that had been on a side table in the kitchen for as long as anyone could remember, and which was always left on, whether or not anyone was home or awake. Even as we dragged all the stuff out of the house, that lamp was on. It was to be the last thing removed from the house. My father couldn't bear it. You could tell that just by looking at him, anyway, but he even came out and said things like, "maybe we'll just leave it here and let the new kids--" that's who they are, these young usurpers, the 'new kids'--"do whatever they want with it." "Yeah," my mom said, "but then they'll feel so bad they'll keep it even if they don't like it." "And anyway," my father mused, "we have to get everything out and leave the house clean. It's what Grandma and Grandpa would want to do if they could do it themselves. It represents who they are." So yesterday afternoon was the moment of truth. Time to unplug the lamp. Time to kiss the little house with the bird feeder in the family room window, the workshop where my grandfather created tiny wonders, the hallway with that one squeaky floorboard goodbye. Time to lay the countless childhood memories of two generations to rest. Unplugging the lamp was what that meant. Last night around suppertime as my dad was handing some of the last carfuls of stuff out of the van to me to carry into the house, he handed me the lamp, and told me that just as they were about to unplug it, the bulb burned out on its own. "Grandma took care of it for us," he said. And handed it over to me to put in its new place, right in our front window.