Batching It

‘Batching it,’ is not as fun as my other married friends claim it to be. I think they say this so it won’t be learned that they’re helplessly, madly in love with their wives and therefore thought uncool, as if they don’t have that same feeling they had the day they proposed.

The TV will remain silent. How I’d love to see a first run of ‘Three’s Company,’ ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ or even ‘The Glen Campbell Variety Hour,’ but alas they are simply one-off memories. Sure I could watch them and a myriad of other old shows through my computer, but that isn’t viscerally the same as knowing that at midnight will John Wayne remind us of how great the United State’s is, followed by a rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ and those ever comforting words: “We now end this broadcast day…”

Today’s microchips and other do-dads don’t need cooling down or adjusting like the old tubes and diodes do. Sadly, this is a reminder that nothing takes much of a rest in these endless 24-hour cycles we’ve labeled ‘night and day.’

Anyway, to work my way through this period of separation, first I follow my ‘honey-do’ list. Once finished with that, I look for things to do or experience from my past days – mostly child and young adulthood.

The way fortune works in my life though , if I plan, they fall apart and I don’t have to look into the past. It certainly looked like that as I had one of our three dogs hurt themselves, so I figured I’d be babysitting an injured pup all the while my wife was out-of-town visiting family.

But the dog requires very little looking after which allows me the time to daydream of things past, as they were and never will be again – at least not in this lifetime. I always have to warn myself that visiting backwards can lead to a bit of melancholia and in my case, might end in depression.

The scratched 33 and a 1/3 record I’m playing keeps skipping. I need a nickel, maybe two to hold the needle down as it passes over the gouge. Works like a charm. Try that with a damaged CD and you won’t get much of a return for your money.

As I stand by the charcoal grill, I breathe in the aroma of roasting hot dogs as they sizzled over the bricks. This comes with the joyful sound of children playing, their happy voices yelling, squealing and laughter — much like it was in my childhood neighborhood.

“God,” I bemoan, “Was it really that long ago and if so, why do I feel it like it was jus’ yesterday?”

Then after consuming more than my fill of half-burnt red hots, I turn on one of my older AM/FM radios, and since it hasn’t the same stereo-effect newer models have, I hear broadcast after broadcast of song and commercial like it was ‘back in the day.’ I’m even thinking of making a cassette of music from what I’m hearing, but I lack the tape. My handy-dandy pencil sits at the ready, never needing use. No — writing is never going to be it’s workout this evening if I do find an old cassette tape.

Believe me when I say you are not really lost or out-of-step here. None of this has real meaning, nor does it lead anyplace, other than into the recesses of my ‘elder’ brain. In fact it is more of an exercise in sharing a memory, fresh off my emotional press, headliners be damned. And know that this hodge-podge of words is far better and gentler than any actual headline you’ll read this Patriot’s Day.