the godfathers… of soul

It never takes longer than a few minutes, whenever they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is. Also the storm at sea, the ship, and the unknown shore. And the hats and the whiskey stills that you make out of bamboo and coconuts. And the fire that you light at night to keep away the beasts.

With its Philip K. Dickian mirror-world and paranoia, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union has been the perfect choice of book for this weird and dislocated first week in Cambridge. Jewish Sitka, that frozen metropolis, has made me appreciate for the first time how many of the places I am homesick for never really existed. It’s also the perfect book to be reading on Mother’s Day when one’s useless cellphone will not connect one with one’s mother, except via text message.

The great blessing of this trip has been spending hours and hours with the godfathers, Grant and Chris. I’ve been a bit too wrecked to talk to them very coherently, but the girls have taken possession, showed off their best kung-fu moves and pieces of stick and leaf and are now perfectly comfortable swarming all over them. I do not know whether the godfathers are equally comfortable being swarmed over, but this is what they signed up for.

Cambridge is so very pretty, the colleges all jumbled up like Examples of European Architectural Styles, green space everywhere with spreading trees and daisies, people being hilariously drunk in punts. Such beautiful weather that I have a suntan. I’m finding it all very suspicious.

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