Point of View: Nothing We Could Do

Time was flying, the snow was mounting

It is Mozart’s birthday as I write this, and that reminds me of what the late Steve Sigler said in an interview I did with him in March 1996, to wit, that Mozart was “all about reconciliation, total reconciliation — no wonder he died at 35.”

I did not feel very reconciled the day of the storm. Mary, in a different frame of mind, a better frame of mind, had said we should just relax and enjoy it, accept the fact that there was nothing we could do, nowhere to go, but I could not be cajoled into a good humor, much less into even partial reconciliation. 

Time was flying, the snow was mounting, and things I’d counted on doing, such as playing tennis, or writing about, such as the canceled league track meets, were vanishing. 

Beset by purposefulness, then, I could not still my mind, as Mary had, and as, I gather, many here did. 

“I’m not used to being housebound,” I said to Rebecca Rubenstein at the tennis club the next day. “At the very least, I like the thought of being able to go out onto the road and getting stuck. Your dad said if I didn’t have four-wheel-drive I shouldn’t come. . . .”

“I loved being housebound,” she said cheerily.

As the wind and snow were blowing outside, I was blowing it inside, flitting from one thing to another, self-absorbed, antsy, and absenting myself, psychically at any rate, from the person with whom I’m usually always the closest.

I was not myself, oddly desperate — a feeling that was momentarily allayed in the late afternoon sun when three guys alit from a truck and asked if I needed help in shoveling out the cars that we’d parked one behind the other near the street. In a jiffy they did it, and, with my thanks, and with the cash I’d fetched, were on their way. 

Trying to reconnect, I asked Mary that night when we went to bed to read to me from “The Art of Fielding,” a book, she says, that is about much more than baseball. After asking where we’d left off, she read in a soft cadence about Henry, the gifted shortstop, and I listened. 

I asked Russell Bennett on Monday morning, who I thought said it best in the remembrances of Rusty Drumm The Star printed two weeks ago, if he minded being snowed-in. Not at all, he said. There was nothing he could do. He’d enjoyed it.

Listen, Jack, listen.