Reading that today, in 64 A.D., the Great Fire of Rome first blazed that would destroy 2/3 of the city, I feel like a jerk whining about my broken living room A/C. I reported it to the doorman who will report it to the super who will dispatch a maintenance guy. Although I have confidence that this telephone game will work, I don't know when. Until then, I'll have to camp in the still-chilled bedroom. I dislike being limited to one room, since I already spend the majority of my days between just two. My kitchen's as small as the bathroom and they don't really count as rooms, per se, do they?
I remember reading that Sue Grafton said she gets up each day, showers and dresses as if for a regular job before going to her office to write. Turns out, she's up early and exercising first, too. Balzac spent hazy days in his dressing gown. Solomonic in my wisdom, I split this wide difference. Each day, before beginning more serious matters, I emerge onto the Manhattan thoroughfares, dogs in tow, well-groomed enough to face strangers and acquaintances, fresh enough not to embarrass them or myself. However, this lofty standard suffers under the current wilt of omnipresent perspiration.
Also today: In 1925, Hitler published the first volume of Mein Kampf. In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. In 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne died as the passenger in Senator Ted Kennedy's car. A recap written last year of that strange and unusual drama is here. (ht: Michele Malkin).
Which is all by way of saying that I know my petty annoyances and disruptions pale in comparison, and wouldn't survive a ranking by importance within even my life much less the nation or the world. And today I wanted to say how immensely I appreciate that feature of history, even such as recent as Chappaquiddick. Over time, events are distilled to the most potent, and partaking of them is wonderful medicine for the self-absorbed. Like sweaty little me.