Mom found the following 580-word piece in my dad’s papers, two-and-a-half handwritten sheets with a few cross-outs and corrections, with (but not part of) his autobiography. For geographic clarification, my folks lived the past 55 years on a wooded ridge in Marlborough, Connecticut — if you gaze north-northwest to the next ridge line, those woods are in the town of Glastonbury.

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I would never have noticed him but for the contrails. And there he was, all alone, three-quarters of a mile up. (It was a he because he was glad to be alone. shes are never happy alone.)

Let’s see, it’s December 17, so the others have already gone en masse. But never mind, if I get there fine, if not, we’ll I’ve enjoyed the going. Not lonely, but sole-ly.

This way I can also go at night. Nobody else to watch out for. They wonder how we know which direction to go. Silly people. We’ve been here on this earth longer than you have. From up here we can see the stars better than you do. Those bigger brains of yours, look at the use to which you put your excess capacity.

Make more money. Always, make more money.

For what?

So I can go south for the winter. Not that I enjoy it that much. Rather stay home and make more money. But there’s a gooood feeling in being able to go where and when other can’t.

Only person I ever knew who really enjoyed money was Lucius Beebe. (No, not the underwater explorer, that was William Beebe, no relation.) He never earned a cent of it, all banker-inherited.

No I’m not jealous. God-damned glad that somebody in this world really enjoyed (somebody else’s) money.

When everybody else was going to Harvard, he went to Yale. But Yale had forgotten why Yale had been founded, and so he was thrown out and went to Harvard.

In the Annals of Old Eli it has gone down as the “Beebe-Tweedy Affair.” Beebe, like any reasonable man, wanted to drink. But Prof. Henry Hallam Tweedy of the Yale Divinity School, being an island universe unto himself, said: No! “Thou shalt not kill (the pint).” And so Yale lost a potential benefactor. (Not really, for I cannot imagine Lucius shelling out any of his hard (inherited) cash to support that crap which university professors (with the little p) attempt to foist off onto their inherently more intelligent audience.

Lucius also went it alone through life.

Why must it always be either bisexual or homosexual? Why not asexual?

How, then, will the race propagate?

But, you silly goose, don’t you realize that your day is past? You’re at the end of your evolutionary line. When was the last time that you were meek?

And there he was, all alone. There used to be humans like that. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, for one. They say that technology is the antithesis of poetry. That science fiction is not literature. That physics is not an art.

But Feynman and Gell-Mann and Oppenheimer not only knew and loved the Bhagavad-Gita, and Ulysses, and bongo drums, but physics to boot!

But wait a minute, he’s not the last, he’s the first! There they come, a group of four. There’s a group of seven. And there, up ahead, hundreds circling randomly above Glastonbury waiting for him to lead the way.

St.-Exupery was too young for WWI. But the emerging mail service to French Equatorial Africa beckoned. And South America too. Courrier Sud. Vol de nuit. Terre des hommes.

J’admire la Science, bien sur. Mais j’admire aussi la Sagasse.

C.P. Snow tried to tell them that they were living only half a life. They thought they had the whole world by the balls. All they had were the pubic hairs.

That’s interesting. Why is science feminine? And wisdom, too?

V.A. Suprynowicz, 1923-2014

One Comment to “Southbound”

  1. MamaLiberty Says:

    Have to give that some thought. Right now I have no idea what any of that was about. But, just for the record, there are any number of women who are quite content with their own company. I’m one of them. 🙂