Some of you know that DiGrazie is not working this summer. Usually that’s a good thing; sometimes it’s a little scary. I think man was made to work. I think we’ll even have jobs in heaven! It will be tough to win an argument with the boss, but the jobs themselves will be pretty cool. Maybe you think I’m warped. Maybe you’re right.
One good thing about not working: I’m re-connecting with people I haven’t seen or heard from in years, or that I see only once every so often. This past weekend I was up in my old Buffalo stomping grounds to see relatives and old friends from the ‘hood I haven’t seen since forever.
You know what we did – we told stories. Some were stories we’ve been telling each other once every two or three years for the last I-dunno-how-long, like the one about my grandpa’s side of the phone conversation back in the mid-20th century when he was getting repeat calls from a certain “wise guy” who thought (mistakenly!) that gramps was messing around with the wise guy’s wife. Others were stories about me that I never heard before, reminding me of things I had forgotten. Still others were about what people I haven’t been in touch with since 1983 have been doing with themselves.
I know so much of what I know through stories. I know so much about myself through my reactions to the stories; how they make me think and feel, and especially what makes me laugh.
The rest of this month, I’ve got even more stories lined up for myself: Dinner in New Jersey with a couple guys I went to grammar school with and haven’t seen since the 1970s – one of them shared my crush on the same Betsy! A train ride to Providence to see my brother. A weekend in Nebraska with a guy I served with in the military; a hockey teammate I haven’t seen in 20 years, who was right there on the ice for some of my athletic lowlights. A trip to an Air Force base I once called home for two years, now a museum. Lots of chances to tell and hear stories, and learn more about me.
Then maybe, in September, I’ll understand myself well enough to start looking for a job to support my dangerous storytelling habit.