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By Kellnerin (Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 09:39:26 PM EST) Kellnerin living next to the train, when I was six (all tags)
My father recently retired from being a museum curator. One of his retirement gifts from his (New York) colleagues was box seats to a Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway last weekend. So my sister, D, and I joined him to watch the Sox beat the Yanks 10-4 (6 RBI for Ellsbury).

But this is another story.



WE TOOK THE T from the house where I grew up, which is conveniently on the same branch of the Green Line as the Fenway stop. On the way, we passed the apartment complex where we lived when my family first moved to the States. We moved into the house a year later, near the beginning of the school year, and I remember taking the T in the reverse direction, visiting the new place and my new school. I pointed out the building across the street to D as the train idled at the Longwood station.

(The house we moved into was also located by the T tracks; for a long time the trains were loud enough to stop all conversation while they passed. My friends got used to having to pause every so often when talking to me on the phone. In those pre-DVR days, we adapted to the fact that we'd miss a few lines of dialogue out of the TV shows we watched. People think the trains are loud now, but to me they are whisper-quiet. I have a freight line running behind my house now, and it feels almost natural for it to be there. It only runs once or maybe twice a day, often when we're not home, but when we are, it's just a low rumble and occasionally a whistle that lets us know it's passing.)


ON SUNDAY, WE GOT TOGETHER for brunch. I don't remember how we got onto the subject, but one of my father's favorite stories from my sister's childhood came up and we discovered that D had somehow managed not to hear it before.

It happened before I was born, so my sister must have been less than eight years old, but not much younger. I'll call it six, because I round all ages in that range to six, since that was when I moved halfway around the world, and though I'm aware that not everyone does that at the age of six, it's nevertheless a kind of universal milestone in my mind. (If anyone ever created a Kellnerin-fiction drinking game, one of the items should be to take a drink every time something significant happens to a character who's six years old.)

Anyway, my father has quite a store of odd anecdotes in his memory banks related to his profession. Curators (like book editors) are not generally very well-off, but collectors as a class are ridiculously wealthy. This particular story takes place on the Philippines, a country, as my father put it, where half the population owns their own personal islands and the other half works as domestics.

So they were visiting one of the island-owning class on their actual island (or to be precise, islands). To get there, you take a private plane to an island that's large enough to have an airstrip, and then board a boat to the islands that have the family house and their various guest houses (the family and guests in a speedboat, servants and supplies in a small fleet of catamarans).

They stayed the weekend, my parents talking art while my sister played with the grandchildren. When it came time to leave, they did the reverse journey back to Manila. The girl with whom my sister had spent all weekend, making small talk on the flight, asked her, "What kind of plane do you have?"

My sister told her our family did not have a plane.

"What kind of boat do you have then?"

No boat, my sister explained.

The girl looked puzzled. Gears turned painfully. Finally, she managed to articulate the cause of her confusion.

"Then how do you get to your islands?"

< music and melancholy | In Victor We Trust >
Insular Migration | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
How to comment? by johnny (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 10:08:23 PM EST
Can't think of anything to say. So many implications. Everything goes fractal.

Wherefore I marked as VS2FP.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

thank you by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:02:45 PM EST
I'm enjoying the thought of zooming in on the comment you didn't write, ad infinitum. Or maybe I'm doing that with the comment you did write. Zoooom.

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
LOL! by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:01:13 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

getting mad about sports is counterproductive by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #6 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:04:47 PM EST
I only hate teams when it's fun to do so (see: Steelers, Pittsburgh).

But I can't deny that every so often it can be fun to sit outside on a hot summer day and yell "YOOOOOUK!" with tens of thousands of other like-minded individuals.

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician

[ Parent ]
Obviously by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #3 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:46:29 AM EST
You teleport.

no, no ... by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:06:10 PM EST
That's how I get to my space station.

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
Drink once by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:16:47 AM EST
... Every time it unexpectedly turns into a love story

... Every time true protagonist uses a form of land transport (include diaries if it's been a rough week)

Iambic Web Certified

if the love story is unexpected by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:09:44 PM EST
in a Kellnerin story, I think that's more a "chug your drink" moment. Or possibly time to recalibrate expectations.

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
I think by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 10:53:46 AM EST
It's more about picking the exact point at which it becomes a love story. Or maybe my understanding of the genre is based on too shallow a reading ...

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
hmmm by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 10:33:17 PM EST
I shall have to meditate further on this. Certainly there are times when I've lifted my hands from the keyboard and gone, "Oh man, did this become a love story again? It wasn't supposed to happen this time ..."

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
Insular Migration | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback