Thursday, June 12, 2008

2 a.m.

I feel the trembling tingle of a sleepless night; creep through my fingers and the moon is bright. -- "Empty Chairs" by Don McLean

It happened this morning somewhere in that twilight zone between consciousness and slumber.

I awoke with a start, visions of a crazy dream dancing in my head. (Something about trying to hail a taxi to get away from some criminals at the mall --- felt like an old B-movie crime drama.)

And there she found me, as she so often does, in the quiet of such moments. I thought about her awhile, wondered for the 100th time what her visage must look like when the first light of morning streaks across her face, then pushed such images away. They hurt too much.

Then I couldn't sleep. So, I turned on the light and read awhile about Mr. Lincoln, through the eyes of poet Carl Sandburg.

He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. The fun lies in the way he writes.

Abe was born in a one-room cabin in Kentucky. His mother caught the "milk sickness" and died when Abe was quite young. His sister later died during childbirth.

Lincoln adored his stepmother, Sarah Johnston, who wouldn't let anybody pick at him when he buried his nose in some book.

"He's going to be somebody special one day," she'd say.

So he was. I dare say we'll never see the likes of Lincoln again, and pray that we never again reach the point where we need him. Surely we're more advanced than that now, although sometimes I wonder.

I drifted back to sleep just as the Lincolns made it to Indiana. I tried not to think again of the woman.

But I did.


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