My daughter has been led to believe that there is an immortal man who lives in the far recesses of the arctic. This man’s sole occupation is to manufacture and deliver various objects that children desire. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story. On the cusp between eight and nine my daughter is wandering this December in that lonely hour before the heavy dawn of reason. It doesn’t seem so long ago I fought sleep to wait for the man with the flying ungulates and I can well remember the heartbreak when all my defenses against logic crumbled. I evade her direct questions like a politician.
God placed Seraphim at the gates of Eden, and they guard it still, with flaming swords. If you believe this story you can’t help but imagine that when God lies awake at night smoking her last cigarette, she gets a little nostalgic for simpler days. The world is not a magical place and all the banished children of Eve must fall from grace.
Last week I attended the execution of my ex-wife’s cat, Ginger. I volunteered. She was very much my ex’s cat, but Ginger was generous in her affection and she was a sort of touchstone for me to many things, my former marriage, my daughter, the past. I didn’t want the cat to die alone on a cold steel table and my ex didn’t think she could handle the actual moment.
Time as physics and Steve Miller attest, is moving in a unilateral direction. And no matter how hard you try to conjure up some forgotten magic you cannot get back into Eden, raise a cat up like Lazarus or keep your children forever in their wide eyed time. The moment Ginger died, those quick seconds she looked like she was deflating, some childlike part of me broke and fell away.