In and other spirits, Drafts, Hautvoir, Local projects, Revision, Wine on December 20, 2015 at 9:14 pm

I’d planned to keep quiet over the holidays – nothing we can do in this period  to improve their lot, so what was the point in talking about the challenges ahead? Except the father and the daughter showed up at my door yesterday afternoon with the latest haul from their mailbox. All positive stuff, for a change – special classes for the little boy, free transportation for the mother’s trip for a neurological scan in Albi, the system, working as it should.

The girl brought up the topic so we talked about the slim chances of getting even a temporary visa allowing her father to work and stay with the family beyond March. About the challenge of having her mother’s visa renewed in the next few months. About the slim chances on the housing front. Definitely not Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly talk. Sober, sobering with a good helping of sad resignation – until the next spurt of indignation, no doubt.

Half an hour later, they were back with a large Christmas-themed shopping bag.  “It’s not much, you know. It’s not much,” the girl repeated over and over again, and handed me the bag. I thanked them both, sent my greetings to the mother along with my best wishes.

The bag contains a six-pack of 9% beer and two flavors of bottled cocktails: vodka-orange and vodka-kiwi, both laced with emulsifiers,  coloring agents with attractive names like E129 or stabilizers called E466, E414 et al.

No, not stuff I visualize myself drinking. But I’ll have to think of something I can do with the bottles, if not their content. As for the beer,  maybe I can tone it down  with a similar product lighter on alcohol?

No matter. As the girl said: you never know what life will dream up next. We discussed further on that theme, prior to the gifts appearing at my door.

* The Online Etymology Dictionary has this to say about the word oxymoron (n.)
1650s, from Greek oxymoron, noun use of neuter of oxymoros (adj.) “pointedly foolish,” from oxys “sharp” (see acrid) + moros “stupid” (see moron). Rhetorical figure by which contradictory terms are conjoined so as to give point to the statement or expression; the word itself is an illustration of the thing. Now often used loosely to mean “contradiction in terms.” Related: Oxymoronic.

Personally, I use the term as an illustration of the constant balancing act in which the center of gravity is in constant flux.


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