Once a week I read the obits in the Portland Oregonian. I feel kinship and connection to the city and people. I started reading obits when I was younger. those dying born in the teens twenties later thirties and forties, I caught up. Now people from fifties and sixties. I recognize names or think I do wondering if I dated her or drank with him. Did we go to the same high school? or university? Were they Jewish? was the family name one I remember? Recently there have been a few dead children. I knew their parents. Some names standout there is no doubt I know where and when. Others more elusive or magical a sounds-like-moment, a trick of mind. This timeline serves me like a clock measuring time by passing generations changing, people leaving, me waiting proving my frailty my humanity.
Bruce told us about living in memories enhanced by what we want to see, blocking the present, fragile expectations based on then not on now and we find the grass turns brown is only greener in memories guaranteeing disappointment while clocks keep ticking, and gravity keeps pulling us down
the parable of first impressions a lesson to shape behaviors to act nice at first big toothy smile firm handshake, vague meaningless dialogue to convince the other that you are not a threat at all that you can be trustworthy all the while looking the potential adversary in the eye taking their measure for the inevitable future combat denigration unfriending cruelty first impressions carry more of what we want than what we see disintegrating over time replaced by last or painful impressions more easily recalled lasting long after death