Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I Gotta Quit Reading the Classics

Well, Ron, Benny and I are living in Limbo right now. It’s not Dante’s Limbo in Hell, where ancient heroes and poets spend Eternity, but it’s almost as bad.

Actually, Dante’s Limbo seems preferable right now; I could chug wine with Homer and Hercules, listening to the conversation: “Hey, Virgil, how’s it hanging?” and “Odysseus, you old fox, how come you always get the best table?” and “Tell us about the hemlock again, Socrates, you know you love it.”

Obviously, I’ve been reading Dante too much. I’ve emerged from “Inferno” and plodded through “Purgatory” and now I have to face “Paradise.” I don’t know if I have the strength. I read this dumb translation of “Purgatory” where everything has to rhyme. It’s like reading the Bible as a series of limericks: “The Void was empty and bleak/Until God made the world in a week …”

I never knew much about Purgatory, although I was raised Catholic. I would describe it as a Hell With Hope, where the mediocre faithful suffer for hundreds of years before ascending to Heaven. Virgil, out on loan from Hell, leads Dante up the mountain, pointing out all those poor bastards and obsessively tracking the sun’s placement in the sky. At the end, Virgil vanishes, Dante bursts into tears, then is verbally pimp-slapped by the glorious St. Beatrice for all his sins. She represents Divine Love by the way. Shudder.

But back to our Limbo. We’re considering moving out of state, and a move of that magnitude affects everything. I can’t make routine pediatrician appointments or respond to wedding invitations. I can’t buy a CD without asking myself, “Is this one Nickelback song worth the extra three ounces on a U-Haul?”

Off topic: The biggest, fattest raccoon I’ve ever seen just walked onto our deck. It’s enormous. Our cat Callisto is crouched on her kitty condo, prepared to pounce if our glass door magically disappears. Frankly, I think Callisto should be very grateful for that door.

PORTRAIT UPDATE: Avid readers of this diary will remember the April 19 entry about Benny's second portrait sitting. (If you haven't read it, you should. There's lots of good stuff about soap bubbles and a coal mine.)

I'm happy to report that Benny's pictures turned out very cute. He's looking over his shoulder with a happy grin and no one would know he'd just spent 20 minutes screaming bloody murder. The studio tried to sell me some sheets of a second picture, with a red-faced Benny cackling in a strongly psychotic way.


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