image of old diary

Carol Madigan’s diary

May 17, 2021

May 17, 2021

Dear diary,

   Reid said he was interested in learning more about Icelandic history. One of the contributors to an Iceland travel tips fb page suggested a book, Island on Fire, about Iceland’s volcanic past. I know the risk I’m taking. His children have told me something about his “phases,” when he sets out on these quests for broad historical knowledge.

   Back when he and Carolyn were planning their trip to Cuba, Reid told me how he’d crammed on around six books about Cuban history. His daughter told me that she’d had to warn her brother, “Watch out when dad calls. All he’ll want to talk about is Castro and the Bay of Pigs.”

   I guess I’d gotten a glimpse of what she meant, back when I first met Reid. I’d suggested visiting the Spanish mission in nearby San Juan Capistrano. All he wanted to talk about was how the missions were centers for genocide and enslavement of Native Americans. And there I’d been thinking meeting for the first time at the mission’s bells would be romantic!

He said that when I told him about my hearing, he took it to mean we shouldn’t try to have too many conversations together, because it would be too difficult. He actually thought that would be a blessing to our relationship!

   Reid will even admit that he acquires knowledge for the same reason that people who are total bores at parties acquire it. Fortunately, Reid hates parties, and when he does go to the occasional one I drag him to, he usually looks for the first Ficus tree to hide behind when he enters the room. So it’ll be me who bears the brunt of the coming tide of Icelandic history, but at least I’ll be ready for it.

   He’s told me about the time he’d gone through a “string theory” phase, and had even gotten Carolyn partially hooked on the subject. They both watched the PBS series The Elegant Universe, and Reid had read the book. He told me that once when Carolyn was with her family, she went on and on about multiverses and vibrating strings until her one brother asked, “Who are you, and what did you do with our sister?”

   I won’t mind, though. At least it will mean he’ll be talking to me more. I have to coax him on that every now and again. When we were first getting to know each other, I told him I was hard of hearing and wore hearing aids. I just didn’t want to have any secrets between us. You know what he told me later? He said that when I told him about my hearing, he took it to mean we shouldn’t try to have too many conversations together, because it would be too difficult. He actually thought that would be a blessing to our relationship!

   So I am looking forward to enduring all the upcoming talks about plate tectonics, volcanoes, pyroclastic flows and plinian ash plumes. And I’m sure by the time he’s done, I’ll see his point about parties, and agree we shouldn’t go to any until he’s over this phase.

   Well, dear diary, I have to stop for now. I just noticed Reid putting down Island on Fire, and  I know what’s coming next. It’s been a while, but it’ll be nice to hear the sound of his voice again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.