An old story with meaning

I was poking around my computer and came upon this story.

It’s four years old. But it seemed to carry meaning in these days of have and have-nots.

It’s called “The Rhythm of Difference.”

A sample:

I was born into expectations. Dodge children were successful in business and married well.  There was a swagger in our walk and a boastful pride our conversation that said being well born was justification for the elitism we showed.  We attended the local private school in buildings named for forefathers, and graduated to the Ivies or The Seven Sisters.  Our fathers dominated the yacht club and our mothers ran charity drives for Jamaican orphans and held art shows for hopelessly talentless artists who were found with an easel and brushes on the town’s dock.

Sometimes I think my generation of Dodges and Hardings believed they were chosen to be town leaders because it is their genetic right to dominate and own, as if their ancestor’s hard work and planning (and luck) had nothing to do with their current good fortune; a generation of spoiled children who managed to slip into adulthood and with it prominent town positions with all the parochial righteousness that declared that the civilized world ended at the town line.  And so my father’s house.  Large, tall, set squarely in the field of vision, a statement of domination, power and control; The Haven, as if there is no other.

I am Emily Carson Dodge.  I never used Frank Harding’s name. It broke the familiar cadence of Dodge names: Father, Edward Carson Dodge; first son, Edwin Carson Dodge, second son, Elwin Carson Dodge; first daughter, Edna Carson Dodge; then me. Banker, lawyer, Wall Street trader, foundation director.

 A tyranny of conformity.


“Somewhere in all this we were there. We wander among the all the debris searching for a corner to call our own, cast adrift, seeking one plot to be familiar with, a place to start. We again become strangers meeting in a darkened place, become unknown, waiting enlightenment. The boxes hold sadnesses we drag along with us, uninvited guests. We will now begin to hide them or discard them, placing them on the side of the barn waiting dump day. The clearing will begin, closets filled, cabinets lined with dishes and pans, drawers now holding socks or silverware, dividing space, claiming territory, marking off lines of demarcation that never should be crossed, all the while sharing some tiny joy, reaching out over a network  of love and understanding with some binding emotion so that when the fences are planted, our territories staked out, we might cross the imaginary boundaries without causing incident.  We are trapped in these things we carry with us, wrapped up by the bundles of memories we have difficulty discarding, so we pack them in paper and store them in the attic wanting all the time to bring them out again and relive their meaning.  I have my pile and you have yours.  When these piles become one, when the oldest, most singular dreams have been supplanted by fresher memories, when the ancient worries transform to modern understandings, some of this confusion will end and the slight treading around each other’s fears will explode in one loving embrace. Then we will be home.”

The link:

About michaelstephendaigle

I have been writing most of my life. I am the author of the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Swamps of Jersey (2014); "A Game Called Dead" (2016) -- a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Author Contest; and "The Weight of Living" (2017) -- First Place winner for Mysteries in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.
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