Friday, September 16, 2011


There’s a delicate balance between tradition and novelty, but when it’s achieved, something remarkable occurs: a kind of timelessness ensues, in which past and future have no meaning and the present stretches out endlessly, an eternal now where all that ever was and will be merge as one.

Or maybe that’s just the space cookies talking.

In any case, last evening’s version of our annual memorial to the tragic events of 9/11/2001, “The Point 83 Never Forget How Fat You Really Are (I Forgot for a Little While) But Then I Remembered! Freedom Fry Eating Contest,” really did find that sweet spot between history and tomorrow with the perfect combination of old skool nonsense preceded by trails so new they have yet to be opened.

And the result was yet another occasion on which the very shamefulness of the event makes one proud to be an American.

Or at least kinda sick to your stomach.

But, of course, not nearly so ill as the “winner,” Shaddup Joe (who paid 8-1 on the nose) must be feeling this morning after downing 12, count ‘em 12, 16-ounce cups of deep-fried spuds, making “history,” I guess, in the process.

Because you see, forgetting is actually a kind of remembering, for in doing so, one recalls a time before the memory was formed—in our case, perhaps, an era of innocence before the terrorists attacked.

Thus, some healing takes place, incrementally, in passing.

All the balm I really needed, though, was to pedal en mass over a freshly-paved path along a former jungle with our fair city spreading out in all its industrial glory below and then relax a bit along the waterfront where locals jigged (jug?) squids from the dock.

These are the moments that connect us to what was and impel us towards what will be.

Or to paraphrase the timeless words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “We beat on, bikes against the current, born on ceaselessly into the past.”


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