Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Out of Memory

Today my uncle died. He was 74 years old, so it's not that shocking. The perhaps more shocking aspect is that I really don't care. Honestly. He was my father's brother, and we never see my father's family, except weddings, funerals, and bar mitzvahs. I could probably count on my fingers the times I've met Uncle Warren. At least the ones I remember, the ones after babyhood.

My father, on the other hand, cares. His usual way of showing this is to speak openly and honestly about why Warren's death matters to him, without ever giving an impression of emotional impact. Being in touch with feelings is a good thing, but not too closely. That could get dangerous. Bah.

I absolutely do not want to go to the funeral. Not at all. I care very little about anyone who will be there, except for my parents and possibly my sister (possibly she will be there, not possibly I care). But will I go? Maybe Dad will be upset if I obviously don't care, but not too upset if I argue logistics? I have yet to decide how to handle this.

I also feel slightly guilty for not caring. I cry about strangers I read about in the newspaper (rarely, but it happens), but have not the slightest urge to cry for my newly dead uncle.

Oh well. RIP Warren Baltimore, 1934-2008. I'm sure you were worth getting to know better than I did. I'm sorry you and Dad never understood each other enough to make any lasting relationship work. I wish y'all had either gotten over your estrangement or given me some sort of explanation behind it. Sorry I never made it out to Nantucket to visit you. Not sorry I never made it out to Ohio to visit you when you were there. Hope the democratic party there can make it without you. I certainly can, and for that I am also sorry.

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