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What is it now, son?
What is it now, son? What could it possibly be that you must know right now, the average number of at-bats in a season? how warm it will be tomorrow? the name of that one mineral? Once again, I do not know. I know, I know, I wish I could be some monument of the known who speaks with confidence and certainty, and even in the gray areas with hedged gusto. So what is it now, tell me what is so urgent to need to know, how long before a chicken can lay eggs? how hot it will be next week? how many people fit in Kauffman Stadium? I don’t know and I don’t know if I once knew or not and if I did when I forgot but I know I no longer know. How many stars are in Orion? (I used to know.) Will the city replace the sidewalks soon? (I have no idea.) How much warmer will next summer be? (I wish I knew.) Will you like middle school next fall? (I hope so.) Give me your sister’s questions all day: Daddy, what do unicorns eat? Do you want to see my painting? Did you know apples take baths in the rain? These were your questions, too, and not so long ago, back where my knowledge briefly resided, back where not much depended on such solidity. Forgive me my not knowing, my failures of recollection. Forgive my leak-sprung brain. Forgive the world its unknowability. But still gather up all that you wonder, keep it all close and held like wild blueberries spilling over your palms. Bring them to me and I promise to at least never forget such sweetness and pucker.
Hope you’re all having a good, slow slide into autumn.