He knocked briskly on the door, hoping it conveyed his irritation. That damn leak was making a mess in his condo and he wanted it fixed.
He knew he shouldn’t get so upset over a leaking pipe which could be quickly repaired; but the events of the last few years had changed him and he just wasn’t himself. The sudden deaths of Ralph Weber and Eddie Montini, good friends and members of the Thursday afternoon poker club, had him feeling disconcerted and powerless even before Nancy, his wife of fifty-four years, succumbed to a weak heart, leaving him alone and isolated.
He also felt cut off by the changes in his condo building which had been a warm, lively community of the recently retired when he’d moved in with Nancy. He’d spent hours in the clubhouse playing pool with new-found friends and the building was filled with the joyful noise of visiting grandchildren on weekends. Continue reading
By Robert Becker
Is the sky falling on this Beacon on the Hill, ending a century of Yankee dominance, crushing the greatest, most brashly exceptional nation known to mankind? Is this worldwide wonder of freedom and democracy, the intersection of divine history and human destiny, kaput, on its last legs, about to implode? Not quite, not yet, and that’s no endorsement of the status quo: powers-that-be hold high trump cards.
Every generation endures end-of-the world scenarios, and we still dread last century’s, nuclear holocaust. Drama — let alone anxiety – commands our attention and heartstrings. Pandemics, portable nukes, fiery asteroids, religious mania, starvation, rightwing nuts, and looming climate change, all threaten millions. But anxiety, even nightmare projections, do not mean Armageddon is upon us, nor that pundits suddenly discover reliable crystal balls. Discretion is the better part of this valor.