On the home front, my 19-year-old son Dan called home last night with the heartbreaking news one of his friends had died in an apparent drowning accident. Dan's home with me now, and we're going out for some lunch soon; it has shaken him and his circle to the core.
Just two weeks ago, he was at a farewell party for a friend he's known since age three who was leaving for Iraq; I never thought I'd see my son going through these kinds of things, but here we are.
Here we all are, in so many ways.
The warnings from awake economists during Bush's first three months in office that we would be seeing increasing poverty and Dickensian destitution on a growing scale are manifesting in all corners of our country, Vermont included.
On the most mundane level, it's coming home. Driving the eight or so miles to Brattleboro yesterday, I passed our local store at 1 PM and regular gas was $2.59; I decided to fill up on the way home. When I returned at 2:30 PM, regular had gone up to $2.85. A station in town was closed with "NO MORE GAS" signs up and their pumps blocked off; in a heartbeat, I remembered scenes of the 'even/odd' license plate lines in New Jersey in the late 1970s, the fistfights among people waiting in lines for hours, even days, the closed gas stations one would pass in search of somewhere to fill up.
We haven't learned a fucking thing, have we?