July 10, 2023

From Gerald R. Lucas

The Days of Summer

I always feel guilty when I’m not working. I know my discipline, and capitalism in general, has become so ingrained in our psyches that taking any time off seems an affront to those powers that rule our lives. In other words: I feel like I should be working all the time—or at the very least thinking about work. Well, I’ve been taking some personal time this summer, perhaps as evidenced by my paucity of journal entries. (Funny, do I think keeping my journal is work? Well it is writing, but this kind of writing is rewarding, right?)

So, what have I been doing on my summer break? First and foremost: being a dad. Max is generally a delight. His best time of day is the morning: he sits in his chair and looks wide-eyed at the world. I like to chat with him and play: when I surprise him, his eyes get open wide as if he’s seeing something that’s blowing his mind. He’s also making sounds now, as if he’s trying to tell me a story. He also likes to dance to show his infant joie de vivre. He’s starting to sleep through the night now. Yeah, so far, i think we got a good one.

I’m currently reading Cormac McCarthy’s penultimate novel, The Passenger. So far, it reminds me of No Country for Old Men in its grammatical minimalism and sense of intrigue. I’m about a quarter into it, and the plot is gaining momentum. I’m trying to take my time with it, though I want to be finished with it before the fall semester begins. Really, I’d like to also read Stella Maris, too, but that likely won’t happen.

It’s been hot here—a real summer. Heat may be affecting me more as I get older, but it’s the most oppressive I have ever experienced. Just taking a walk in the late morning is almost too much for me. It’s likely no coincidence that we have just had the hottest day ever recorded. This is another consequence of capitalism. The greed and materialism that it’s created will not be satisfied until one of two things happens: we stop it, or it destroys us all. As a father, I’m scared to death of the latter, but as a realist (fatalist?), I see that catastrophe seems inevitable.

I’m beginning to get emails from MGA admins announcing the imminent fall semester. I’m not ready yet. Speaking of school: today is Henry’s first day of second grade. The kid is growing up. I feel bad that he’s missed a couple of years of his childhood to the pandemic, but Kip and I spent our whole weekly conversation last Thursday talking about his family’s recent trip to Disney World. He’s convinced me that this is something we need to do while Henry’s still under ten. I think we’ll plan the trip soon—like after our upcoming visit to Chicago to see Peter Gabriel. Which reminds me: I have to schedule our flight.

I’ve been have intermittent Internet connectivity issues since Friday night. A quick call to Cox this morning confirmed of my suspicions: it might be the modem. So, I future-proofed my network with a new modem: a Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Multi-Gig Cable Modem. My Cox plan is only 500 Mbps, and this new modem is capable of much more, so I hope that it will (1) solve my current issue, and (2) keep me online for the foreseeable future—at least until someone runs fiber to my door.