We had a horrible flood here in Calgary last week, and people are just starting to dig out and take a look at the devastation. JP and I went yesterday to help muck out the home of friends, on what Calgary firefighters have called "the worst street they've seen"-- which just confirms what my eyes told me. God, it was awful: six inches of sticky mud, everything ruined, gardens mauled, the indignity of having everyone gawking at the ruined contents of your home. Spent a few hours helping their team haul out sodden drywall, trying to find the right tone for comforting distressed people, wishing I could do something more. I returned home very tired, very sad, and very grateful that our own family had been spared this time. Rattled, shaken, lifted up, depressed, elated, and in need of a cold gin and tonic.
A million Big Questions occupied me all evening and well into the night. Unable to sleep, I got up and did what I always do: seek comfort in the Internets (specifically, friends in Europe). And I did! I did find that comfort--but not by spraching the Deutsch or trying not to gnash teeth in the Skype face of my friend in Rome.
Nope. I found it with Rod Stewart, thanks to a heroic Belgian radio station with, I trust, a proper sense of kitsch.
Specifically, I found it within the memory of 15-year-old me, hunched over in the cold, potato-scented basement of prim Jennie, my piano teacher, banging out in my be-pimpled, chubby and truculent way the melody of "Do You Think I'm Sexy?"
I haven't laffed that hard in about a decade.