Hermits Rock

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We have both been testy today—we travel early tomorrow because things have gotten worse—not the least because I was clumsy early. Coming home with two coffees in hand, I opened the door and promptly dropped both all over cat and carpet. It wasn’t too hot, so she wasn’t burned, but she sure ran away fast. It did stain the carpet, though, and now our entry smells like stale coffee.

I hate carpet.

I don’t know how much I will be around this week, so I trust you all to keep well. I know you’ll miss my charm and stunning good looks, but certainly, you can take solace in the company of the other hermits. Just remember: it’s not their silence that echoes in these halls, but yours.



I’m not really sorry that I’ve been vague about what’s going on; I think it’s probably better. If you want to know the specifics, e-mail. Suffice it to say that we’re in the midst of funeral preparations, which are (obvs) rather morbid and bizarre.

My first turn as a pallbearer will be Thursday. If you’ve done it before, is a casket heavy? (We can leave aside the obvs for now that a very large person doesn’t get lighter by the expulsion of his soul, and that some caskets are probably as heavy as their prices are great. Neither is especially relevant.)

And do you have any idea why pallbearers are always men? I wonder that such rites as those that surround death will eventually be patriarchy’s final battleground?

1. It’s not so heavy.
2. I still don’t know why pallbearers are always men.

I’ve been wondering about 2 for several days now, actually. When I was in junior high, my mother and I went to a church in Indianapolis where the ushers were always all men. I thought this was peculiar, and so one day my mother asked about it. She was told that due to the configuration of the church, they had three ushers rather than the more customary two or four, and that they had all men because it would look odd to use a couple and a lone man or a couple and a lone woman. I still am unclear about why, if symmetry were the goal, they couldn’t use three women sometimes, but I suspect the reason boils down to the reason I first suspected—ordinary old sexism.

There may be an argument here, but what do you know? The research library here doesn’t have it. (It doesn’t have much in the way of thanatology, in fact).

There are 300 libraries with it out there, according to WorldCat. ICPL should be able to get you one through interlibrary loan, if you’re really interested.

(Once upon a time, the UI would give a library card to any Iowa resident, though they didn’t advertise it heavily. It seems that that is no longer the case.)

I’m pretty sure it’s not difficult to get a card as an alum.