Monday, April 30, 2012


At the exit to the supermarket, there was a semi ahead of me waiting for the same red light. It's Maine license plate bore the requisite numbers to identify the trailer and then, below that, the word, "SEMI- PERMANENT" was stamped into the metal.

I was stymied. What the hell did "semi-permanent" mean? Was this some bureaucratic construct (too much time and too little work to do) or a yuppie-esque way of saying "temporary" or did it have some specific meaning that was outside my ken? It felt a little like using the word "issue" to designate something that was once a far-less-soft-soaping "problem." But who knows, maybe "semi-permanent" had a specific meaning I could not hope to divine.

What is NOT semi-permanent?

Which is the same as asking, what IS permanent?

In what world does any of this actually compute? In what world does "semi-permanent" sound sane or does it require a certain insanity in order to plumb its honest depths?

I was stymied.

I like being stymied -- outfoxed by a world I thought I knew something about only to find that I was completely out of touch.

No matter: I came home to an email thanking me for one I had sent. "Thanks for sharing," it said. The phrase irritates me in its egregious, self-protective and well-manicured kindnesses. I feel none of the stymied quality I got from "semi-permanent." "Thanks for sharing" is too foxy by half to outfox anyone.

Oh well ... it's a semi-permanent resentment.

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