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LJ Idol IX - LCI-2. Crossing All the T's (~900 words)

When my brother and I were little, TV-time was also family-time. Watching our black-and-white TV which needed to be mended with increasing frequency and finally ended up occupying two chairs, the screen on one and all the "filling" on the other so the constantly burning out vacuum tubes could be easily replaced, was inconceivable without the company of one or both our parents.

Yet after we went to school the together time watching movies happened less and less frequently, and was replaced first by grudging alone time in front of the screen then by, "I am watching this!" and "Da-ad, do you have to mock every line in every movie you have to join me for?"

When my brother and I were little, something our family did was sharing food. It was not a rule or and expectation, it was the way we lived. You had something tasty, you shared it with father, mother and sibling, and so did they, even if that something was a single small bar of chocolate.

My parents still do it, but, "No, mum, I have not changed my mind about stealing food from my plate not being okay, and I am not going to. Why don't you just ask first?" The compulsion to share is still hard to fight though, even though I understand now that it is okay not to.

When I was 13 and my brother 12, he started listening to music. Loud hard rock music at all hours. I am never going to listen to any, I assured myself, hating the ear-splitting headache-inducing noise.

A decade later, I started doing just that. Joe Dassin was the first singer who broke through to me, followed by other Frenchmen, followed by Johnny Cash, followed by other singers from different countries. There are not many still, I do not listen to music every day or distinguish between the many different genres, but there is music in my life.

In secondary and high school, I marveled at people who were such fans (muttered derisively) as to go to concert after concert or even follow their favourite artists on tours. I was certainly above such things and not crazy. I absolutely was not.

And then at the age of 24 I up and went to a meeting of Joe Dassin's fans. The first one held in the 25 years that he was then gone. The news shocked many people who thought they knew me, being the first time I went abroad, the first time I flew anywhere, and the first time I traveled alone. It was a marvelous time.

It was at the same time in the year 2005 when I was 24 that we lost our old dog Belka to our, my carelesness. The winter previous, at times it could be seen that she did not feel well and could barely walk. I knew then that we should have taken her to the vet, but my parents did not have time and did not take the hints, and I absolutely could not take her on my own because I'd never done so before. So the illness was written off as her slowing down due to her advanced age. And the next spring she died because when she'd stopped eating mother was away for the weekend, and when she returned, the immediate trip to the vet already was in vain.

I do not repeat this mistake anymore. Hera, our dog, is my responsibility whether she is recorded as my mother's or not. What does it matter that I have to take her to different places in town for analyses and procedures if it ensures her continued good health? How could it have ever been otherwise?

When I was younger, I turned my nose at any hints of bribery, dishonesty, nepotism. I refused to consider my parents' alma mater when choosing a college in part because their old groupmate was then the head of their department there; I walked in disgust out of another where during a preliminary examination the person who knew and felt the obscure material was given 8/10 and another who could only answer the generalities received a 10. I was very proud to have entered the program I had finally chosen on my own merit, then mildly horrified and very grateful when one of my father's colleagues turned out to be a part-time Professor at my college and told him directly that had they know I was passing the exams I would have been admitted at any department, and not just those where I earned my place with the results of my entrance exams.

Ten years later, my mother took ill, and to ensure that her operation was scheduled presently, I had to go make a donation of a certain sum to the hospital. After the operation itself, there was also a known sum to gift to the surgeon and the anesthesiologist even though both the operation and the hospital stay were covered by the State health policy. You did not have to gift that second sum if you were broke, but it was understood that every one who could did ... place an envelope in a pocket.

Over the years, things that seemed definite and unshakable, black-and-white even, tend to change, and shift, and acquire unexpected shades of grey. How are you still you after all the minor and major turnarounds? Are you?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
ConCrit is welcome.

I have not been voted out of the main competition yet. But I may be, in less than 3 hours, so here goes.
Oct. 8th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
It's interesting reading about your life. I loved the description of the TV. I remember the valves in our TV used to take ages to warm up so we could watch a picture. Whenever anything electrical nowadays takes what feels too long to come on (although it may only be about 90 secs) I always say to people 'Sorry it's so slow. The valves are just warming up'. If the people are my age or older they laugh because they understand what I'm getting at but I often get blank looks from young people!
Oct. 10th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, I understand you very well, even though I have already started forgetting about that period of waiting :)
Oct. 8th, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC)
*hugs* It's a lot of change.
Oct. 10th, 2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Oct. 11th, 2014 05:04 am (UTC)
You're welcome.
Oct. 9th, 2014 01:48 am (UTC)
It's funny how you can be so certain about things and as you grow, your certainty can change so much. Nicely done.
Oct. 10th, 2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, most of these seemed carved in stone at the time :)

Thank you!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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