In my mind, shallow thing that it is, we went to Vegas last week to visit Cousin Sbook and his dear wife Mrs. Sbook, but the truth is, I went to Vegas because I lost a bet. With traffic that is. My trip was the most recent in the series of disasters that began with a bruised thigh. Let's get that part of our trip out of the way first:
- We arrived in Vegas late Thursday night. I arose reasonably early the next morning and drove to the courthouse, a nice new building. I had to take off my belt when I went through security because, as they wrung from me during cross-examination, I am not an attorney.
Parking had taken hideously longer. I spent, gosh, half an hour? driving around looking for a parking spot. I finally resigned myself to taking a two-hour spot, loading up the meter, and hoping it would be enough time and I could leave Vegas without an further ticket to add to my collection. Having made that decision I lucked out with a free two-hour spot, parked, crossed my fingers, walked to court.
After passing though security, I was nearly immediately in the traffic portion of the building. I took a number from a lady who said, "This is a municipal one--they go quick. Hurry over to the windows." And she was right. Before I got five paces my number was called. I sat down, pled nolo contendere, paid $280, learned about traffic school, and was gone. I easy spent five times more time looking for parking.
It is to my everlasting regret that we Thteeds did not whoosh over to the reasonably nearby Sbooks with greater frequency (eg, more than twice, say three times). Few indeed are the people I like more.
(And besides, we could have rendezvoused in December when Vegas does not burst thermometers at 117° [121° in Baker on our way home].)
I could go on and on about the Sbooks, starting with their excellent book collection (their library), the kangaroo paw on the wall you can make wishes on, their taste in films (can you say, "Y'know, for kids!"), their darling daughters, etc etc etc.
Granted, there are some mysteries remaining about them--what happened to their children's schwas, for instance--but these miss the point.
I suspect that family ties can bind our souls tighter than distance or time can ever undo. This theory is not born out with all my cousins, alas, but since Cousin Sbook became a military man, I have seen neither him nor his five times. However! I still consider it completely fair to call him one of my best friends.
Granted, we have a lot (a lot) in common. But I have much less in common with his sister and her husband, yet consider them top friends as well.
There is some complicated math going on here that I can't unravel, but though I may not be able to find my way backwards to the formula, the answer to the equation is clear: Family is forever. Not Vegas, not 117°, not driving reticence, not three years, not a thousand miles can diminish our relationship. They don't allow for much growth, to be sure, but Sbooks and Thteeds are a match all the same. Everytime we meet them I am reminded of this.
But I hate that I need such reminders.
I hereby resolve to remember.
(Don't let me forget.)