Saturday, April 19, 2014


Lately, more than ever, I’ve been considering the benefits of “bulletproof.”

I first encountered the concept, as most of us did, I imagine, watching Superman on tv as a child, and reading the Superman, Action and other DC comics he appeared in. 

Then, as now, it seemed like a charmed existence, flying powers and invulnerability, kryptonite notwithstanding.

Speaking of kryptonite, yesterday evening I seem to have eaten some.  Leaving a restaurant in Philadelphia where we had been celebrating my birthday, I was suddenly and surprisingly felled and doubled-over with a mysterious ailment.  I was taught not to complain as a child, so even though this event actually worried me a great deal, I couldn’t say much about it, even as I noticed my family's grave concern as the color drained from my face.

Riding home to the suburbs I lay on the back seat of the car looking up at the buildings and sky.  I tend to bore people to death complaining about the horrible contemporary Philadelphia skyline (we have the worst, ugliest tall buildings in the country and the most depressing city color scheme; Benjamin Franklin would be gravely disappointed if he ventured a reappearance), but viewed vertically, eyes skyward, from moving sidewalk level the city seemed a dream-marvel, the best thing ever.

Still, in my extreme infirmity I completely understood what Fernando Pessoa meant when he wrote:

“We are two abysses -- a well staring at the Sky.”

Today, thank heaven, I am recovered.  

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