Sunday, August 17, 2008

You Know It's Coming

A good morning. I crashed out on my couch last night watching the Olympics, after having cheered on Phelps and the rest of the men's swim team on the 4x100m relay. And I awoke this morning to the unmistakable sound of burners whooshing overhead, as a hot air balloon seemed to barely clear the roof of my apartment building. It's getting to be that time of year again in Albuquerque.

A cup of coffee, a glance at the online headlines for the Dallas Morning News (I just can't stomach the local Journal) and absent-mindedly flipping between Fox News Sunday and a Sopranos repeat on A&E. I muse briefly that the two shows probably have more in common than Chris Matthews would care to admit.

Clouds hang low over the Sandias; the ceilings lie at least 1,500 feet or so beneath the 10,678 foot summit. From my perspective on Albuquerque's west side, the clouds seem lower than my balcony. They're not, of course, but that's how they look. There's not a trace of wind, either. A good-sized thunderstorm blew through last night, and this is the result. It was on a similar morning, four years and one month ago, that I soloed for the first time.

There's nothing big on my agenda this morning. It's a rare Sunday that I don't have to work, Jim's covering. Not much to do today, other than go up to spend the afternoon with my folks and Abby. I need to run to the store, too -- there was no milk for my coffee this morning, I had to resort to one of umpteen creamer packets I've copped over the years from a variety of motel rooms. Still, I have the rare luxury of time today... so I lay back on my couch, and watch TV.

9:00 am, This Week comes on ABC. Still a Sunday morning of tradition of mine, one that started four years ago in Dallas. The local affiliate finally moved the program to its rightful place in the morning; it had been on Sunday afternoons here, but KOAT moved it back to the morning shortly after Meet The Press host Tim Russert died... correctly assuming, I imagine, that with Russert's passing MTP would be more vulnerable in the local ratings. Such is life.

I only pay half-hearted attention to the commentators, discussing who will be chosen as Obama's and McCain's running mates. But I look up as I hear the familiar strains of the theme for "In Memoriam."

Issac Hayes. Jerry Wexler. The head of the Democratic Party in Arkansas, who was gunned down in his office this week by a crazed lunatic who had recently quit his job at a Target store, sigh.

Nine soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sigh, again.

Camera one, back on George. "We also lost a member of our ABC News family this week. Leroy Sievers..."

I stop cold, and stare mouth agape at the TV. I feel tears welling up, but wipe my eyes angrily before the torrent can begin.

God damn it...

Photo by Tyrone Turner

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