Last night, a random stranger asked me online whether I am “familial” with Bernie Sanders’ past. I was tempted to answer with sarcasm. I’m sure I’d find some common ancestor if we went back far enough, but I can’t answer with any specific relationship.
Yet, since I don’t make a practice of mocking people’s grammar or typos, I answered the question he meant to ask: whether or not I’m familiar with Bernie’s past. I am.
Anyway, later on, slap happy from staying up too late on a project, I pondered Mitochondrial Eve. We all have two biological parents, four biological grandparents, eight biological great grandparents, and so on. But at some point back there, following our maternal lines, we all have the same female relative. How far back would I have to go before the ever-expanding field of ancestors stops growing and instead shrinks and converges down to my one common ancestor with Bernie, or Josh, or any of you?
Family trees and charts started forming in my mind, expansive branches of haplogroups stretching out, but then converging back into the same origin.
What would the equation be for determining just how “familial” I am with a particular person? How would factors like our faith, where we live now, where our grandparents lived, and so on, affect the equation?
But since I quit taking math and science classes long before writing our own such equations was encouraged, I had no idea how to proceed.
A rabbi once joked that I seemed determined to live multiple lifetimes within my own. Yesterday felt like that kind of day.
I started my morning determined to give Mocha the morning walk he’s been missing out on too often. We made it two yards before I spotted a neighbor’s orange cat lying dead in his yard. Hoot loved that cat, he called her “Friend Kitty,” because she would wait in the driveway every morning and then run up to us to say hello.
I helped our neighbor put “Friend Kitty” in a grocery bag. I nearly vomited several times in the process.
Mocha didn’t get his walk then.
I returned home, thinking about how I’d rushed Hoot along the walk to school the day before, ignoring his protests — “But Friend Kitty is a-running to me. I want a talk a Friend Kitty.” We were running late for the bell at Wise’s school. I feel like an asshole about that now.
Back at home, Hoot, Wise, and Wise’s friend who I’ll call “the Wary Sage” were waiting for me to take them to the Veterans Day Parade. We went, and among other things, this happened:
Wary Sage, “What do you think’s in that barge?”
Wise, “I think it’s full of Legos. Millions and millions of Legos. What do you think?”
Wary Sage, “I think it’s full of Port-a-Potties. Yeah, I’m sure it is: hundreds of Port-a-Potties.”
Wise, “Maybe it’s Lego Port-a-Potties.”
Wary Sage, “Yeah, I bet that’s it.”
Hoot, “You farted, Wary Sage. I going away.”
After a full day at the parade and on the river, we came home in time for me to attend a meeting with a Bernie Sanders’ volunteer. Mocha finally got his walk and I went for a run. My block redeemed itself when a neighbor brought over a lovely margarita to recognize the morning’s trauma, and I had to respond to an email from a student announcing a truly awful life circumstance. Somewhere in there I wrote a post for another blog and rewrote some sections of my forthcoming children’s book.
Yesterday, in short, ranged from terrible to wonderful averaging out at not all that bad.