On Watching the News

We could tell time on Sundays by the news on the television in the den just off kitchen,  just like we could tell time by the moments we sat down to our family meals.

My sister and I cleaned up the kitchen every night while Mom went through her meal plans for the next day – would she make a pie for dessert – grill on the BBQ? – make spaghetti and try to fool us again by hiding garden zucchini in the sauce again? This was every day stuff, but you know, when you turn on the news, the “every day” became like a dream – unreality AS reality.

In the midst of this, we could hear the nightly news, 60 Minutes, the football game, a recording of Johnny Carson from the late night before.

I cut the chord on cable a few years ago – mainly to save the $105 that was being painfully pulled from my pocket.

The side effects were plentiful.

I no longer had to hear how a person on Nantucket lost their millions because of an embezzler, or a little old lady was writing bad checks at the local grocery, or a celebrity shoplifted…even though they were worth a few mil.

My mom’s friend was caught stealing money from three employers a while back. I did a search online and found she was sentenced to 15 months for wire fraud.

I bet BEING the news is worse than anything.

This little old lady was put away for 15 months in the same prison as Martha Stewart.

Funny thing –  like Martha Stewart, my mom’s friend made the best cakes I’d have ever had.

I don’t want to hear about children missing, or digging up bodies dated 1973 from a quiet man’s back yard.

Byron Page went missing. I found out while watching Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” on MTV three years later. He sat behind me in Spanish II. I had failed out the year before and had to re-take it with an “easier” teacher to be able to graduate that year, despite the rest of my straight A grades.

He stopped showing up to class, and I figured he’d been transferred to the smarter class – because while he was quiet, he was smart.

Every so often, I Google his name to see if he was found. He has yet to be.

On the television a woman is being stalked, someone famous is dying, a commuter on a bike gets hit by a car.

I don’t want to hear this – or the ticking of the 60 Minutes clock – anymore.

Memory Layne