A Boy Must Learn, Part Four
Lookouts? Oh, yes.
There is more.
I can remember being in church with my mother, where it was suggested that I ought to fear the Lord my God, and reacting like any child would - with the proprietary blend of confusion and horror that accompanies every expansion of awareness.
They don’t start you on the hard stuff until later, where you find out that God can ask a father to kill his son, or sometimes he’ll let the devil kill your children for no good reason. That’s always struck me as a tremendous messaging challenge: as an immortal being, how do you manage that kind of PR long term? Do you start offering extra miles? Historically, the loyalty program been an incredible motivator - but is there a point at which you consider Rebranding? I suppose there’s some evidence for the latter.
No, what you get at first is the Starter Set, which covers things like church attendance, dress code, and mealtime observances. It doesn’t have much to say about Fear. And they’re only using the word Fear because they don’t know what else to call it, how to name that rising, primal ice one feels when faced with the hanging jowls of the unknowable.
But I get it; I get it now. That is how I fear New York.
I’ll be leaving in that direction today, literally on a jet plane. My experience differs from the song somewhat in that I know the precise date of my return (Wednesday). I’ve also chosen to retain the melancholy, but not for any particular reason. Readers will suffer no interruptions of service.
We’ve been invited to some kind of thing for the Time 100, but with Gabriel at home gingerly grooming his cub it falls to me to represent our clan. This means I will be wearing a suit fully two times this year; I shall try not to develop airs.