Suburban Soliloquy #83



Looking for Omens

In desperate times, even this Atheist becomes as superstitious as a baseball player and seeks for omens as to what's to come. I'm not much of a sports fan, but I became engrossed in the race for the American league pennant, root-root-rooting for the Red Sox, because they were the underdogs, and because they had gone eighty-six years without winning the World Series, not since 1918. I looked to the Red Sox for a "propitious" omen. If they could win, maybe....

It was history in the making. Ms Keogh and I watched as the Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling, performed in the sixth game with a torn tendon, the camera focusing on the blood seeping through his sock. The Red Sox beat the Yankees to win the pennant and move on to the World Series.

For weeks I have been suffering a profound anxiety, fearful that the travesty will continue, that the Bush Administration will be elected to office. I have never been more frightened of a President. I don't believe there has ever been a President in my life who has done as much damage to my family, to my country and its Constitution, and to the world. This has been a devastation and four more years of this present administration could mean a cataclysm. My Soliloquy, coming when it does, a couple of days before our national elections, is the product of a mind obsessing about the near future and is hardly capable of writing about anything else. You, reader, will know the outcome.

For months the usurper President has been leading in the polls, always by a small amount that even the pollsters say falls inside the margin of error, but so consistently does he "lead", so close is the potential risk of his winning, that I find myself sickened, psychosomatic ailments to be sure, but unpleasant enough. So I sought augury by baseball, eager for an auspicious World Series triumph of the Red Sox.

It was the fourth game of the World Series with the Red Sox having won the first three. It takes four out of seven to win. I was snuggling with Ms Keogh in the guest room, watching the game on our only television set. While the game was underway, going into its fifth inning with the Red Sox having three runs, I stepped outside to admire the full moon. It was the night of the eclipse. The moon was behind a quilt of clouds, but so bright as to be clearly visible at the center of a glowing aura. The eclipse had begun and was well advanced.

Ten:fifteen and it was the seventh-inning stretch, so we did. Ms Keogh and I disentangled ourselves and rose from the guest room's chaise longue to step outside and search for the moon. The clouds had become thicker. Then, briefly, the moon appeared in the cracks of the overcast. What little could be seen of the moon was a reddish brown. The gap moved on and the moon once more disappeared. We would not see the moon again until the game was over.

Before heading back in, I heard the honking of geese. I waited until they appeared overhead. The flock was formed into a spearhead silhouetted against the faint glow of the overcast.

It was during that eclipse that the Red Sox won the World Series. After the game, I had to make a run to the all night pharmacy. The moon had reappeared in a night sky that was again clear. The earth's shadow was withdrawing from its face. My drive was through the residential streets of Levittown. The route brought me to one of the main thoroughfares that crisscross Levittown and where I was to turn right. Across from me was the driveway leading up to the portals of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a church with three golden domes shining in the night. While I watched, two deer, who had no business being that deep into suburbia, strolled casually across the driveway, stopping to look into my headlights.

At the strip mall where the pharmacy was located, I continued to watch the receding eclipse. It is to be the last lunar eclipse until 2007. It was most certainly an unusual night, filled with little miracles. Reviewing the events of that night, I considered the many things I had observed, both history in the making and small, personal delights, these many pleasant things might just be good omens.

Bruce Bentzman

This essay is number 83 in a series of regular reports from the life and times of Mr Bentzman. If you've any comments or suggestions, the writer would be pleased to hear from you.
Mr Bentzman's collection of poems, "Atheist Grace" is available from Amazon, as are "The Short Stories of B.H.Bentzman"