Milkshakes and Medicine
November 07, 2004 - 4:33 p.m.


I've been in a serious funk since the election...I need to snap out of it soon or I'll drive myself, and probably Amy, to despair. I suppose my Republican friends would find it odd that the outcome is so depressing...fine, you don't get it...but I honestly see George W. Bush as the worst possible person to lead the United States. He's an arrogant, ignorant jingoist with no sense of, nor interest in, how brutally destructive he is being.

See? See how well I'm getting over the election? Sheesh.

It's also been a while since I've accomplished anything substantial...I hand in papers, I read, I take notes, yadda yadda yadda. I've been feeling rather useless, really. I'm tired for no reason, I have little appetite and small tasks seem larger than they are. "Pick up a spool of ribbon to make tapes for my books? Meh. Zellers is way down there. Later."

All of this made my trip to Daddy O's Milk Bar fortuitous. Wanting somewhere to sit, sip coffee and read, I steered away from Coffee tends to be a bit sketchy and isn't really a reader's atmosphere. So I turned the other way and headed north on Roncesvalles. Daddy O's was the first place I came to that was light enough, clean enough and empty enough.

The point of all this (because you're not here for a restaurant review) is that as I sat in an armchair a family took possession of the nearby sofa. I smiled at the adorable little girl, age 2ish, and she proceeded to bring me every portable item within reach. Napkin, children's book, stuffed horse, (I must have plopped down in the kid's section) spoon...the parents reigned her in before she brought me their milkshakes, and I went back to the butchery of 1 Samuel. (Is this going to get any better somewhere before the Psalms?)

Later a mother came in with her little boy, also around age 2. He thought I was about the most fascinating thing ever...the "cat's ass," as we say in least he spent most of the time staring at me from behind his round cheeks.

By the time I got up to leave I'd seen a parade of four adorable little kids, which is very good medicine for the soul. I'm still not what you'd call perky, but now there's a sense of the ridiculous in my sublime despondency. Yes, the world is a scary and dangerous place. Yes, I'm slogging through without any sense of accomplishment. Yes, I'm tired all the time. But kids are cute and that means that everything is, in the end, worth it.