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2008-04-17 - 4:27 p.m.

I guess I think a lot about time and what lasts and what doesn't. Images last. General impressions, and sometimes they aren't from any experience, but from movies, books, songs, photos, stories people tell who were there. I am often arrested by old quarters. I'm not much into the new state quarters, except to see if I have one I haven't seen yet, but when I get an old-style quarter, I often flip it to the heads side, to see when it was made. And quarters get old! They are made to last. They are workhorses. They've been in a lot of parking meters. They've played a lot of games of Pac Man. It's exciting to get a quarter that was made, like the one in my pocket right now, in 1966. I think: you got made when Robert Kennedy was alive. I bet other people have similar thoughts, but made up of very different details. I have a certain picture in my head when I get a quarter from 1981, for example. It's about Reagan and being four and living in that sparse and echoey house in Bel Air, the one where we rode Big Wheels out front all the time. 1981's also about TV news reports of Iran and also about the way my mom's hair was in photos from then. 1962 is a good one. That's about the other Kennedy and about lunch counters in the south. I'd be interested to see what other peoples' images are, if they have them.
When I get old quarters like that, I think about linty pockets in Chicago.

I'd like to live in a place where there is nothing to eat except tacos and sushi. I wouldn't complain. Except that I might, and the third kind of food would be the wild mushroom soup you can get at Au Bon Pain.

In papal news, turns out that, yes, the pope does wear a funny hat.

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