Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Memory of the Thing that Didn’t Happen

OK. I admit it. I have a bad memory. But some things I remember. Well, kind of remember. Well, reverse remember. Well, I remember what didn't happen. I remember things that didn't happen. All sorts of things. That's a kind of memory, right?

In 1962, for instance. Do you know what didn't happen in 1962? It was monumental. Earth shattering, really. I mean, literally. The earth didn't end in 1962. I remember it specifically not ending. And I was there! No searing heat. No Chernenkov radiation. No fallout. Not a bit. The sky did not burn blue and the Powers that Be did not bring disaster upon us all. Why?

Because the Cuban missile crisis ended, not with a bang, or with a whimper, but with a hand shake. And two pairs of eyes looking across a desk in peace. A boring piece of oak and lacquer. Over such is the fate of the world waged.

President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev agreed to let the world live a day longer. They listened to each other. And they talked. And they discovered. What? What did they discover? That they both had one thing in common. That they both wanted to live another day.

Shall we join them? 1962 is not that different from today.

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