Thursday, February 05, 2009

That Moment In Dallas

November 22nd, 1963.
President Kennedy is gunned down in his motorcade.
The book I am currently reading refers to that moment as “seven seconds that broke the back of the century.”
You know how everyone tends to remember where they were at that specific time? As though a portion of time is frozen in our consciousness? I suppose a more updated version of the same sort of cataclysmic “moment” might be September 11, 2001.
At any rate, guess where I was when JFK was assassinated?
I was peaceful and warm, unaffected whatsoever by the events unfolding on our Canadian television.
I was floating around in amniotic fluid.
In twelve days, I would be born.

So I must say, I recall very little of the actual day’s events.
And even now, as an adult who has focused his entire life on the reading of literature, November 22nd, 1963 is immortalized in my mind and heart as the day that C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley died.
I am very JFK-challenged and/or ignorant.
I haven’t even seen that Oliver Stone movie!

But now I am reading Don DeLillo’s excellent fictional [emphasis on fictional] account of the events leading up to that fateful day.
The book is called Libra, which was the astrological sign of one Lee Harvey Oswald.
Heard of him at all? Sure you have.
But the jury is still out on who the actual gunman was.
Or if there were several gunmen. How many shots were fired, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
The lore, the mystery, and the endless conspiracy theories, live on. All I really know is that I myself have the perfect alibi.
I WAS A FETUS AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT.
My entire modus operandi on November 22nd, 1963 was just to lie around and do some serious placenta-suckin’.

**********

8 comments:

Sam Sattler said...

I had the only fistfight of my high school career that day, Cip, when a fellow student laughed out loud about the announcement and refused to shut up.

The school decided my reaction was justified - and expelled the guy for 3 days while doing nothing to me at all.

cipriano said...

Wow. What a moment to remember, Sam.
That is an awesome story.
I hope that my humorously-written blog does not present itself as being disrespectful of the actual events of that day.
Truly, it was a horrible, horrid, horrific, and sad tragedy.
I concur with your school, and I am glad you pounded the hell out of that kid!

I was actually thinking of you Sam [you being a for-real Texan and all...] when I wrote and posted this blog from Starbucks tonight.
Nice to hear from you!

Sam Sattler said...

Cip, didn't mean to mislead you. Actually, we pounded the hell out of each other, although I like to think that I won on points. :-)

Nah, I didn't take your post as disrespectful at all - as usual, you made me laugh, and that's a good thing.

Alyce said...

I wasn't born yet when JFK died. I was always proud though (for some strange reason) that I was alive before Elvis died (I was a few months old). I was raised in a family of Elvis fans. :)

May said...

I find the movie JFK terrific.

It is endearing to imagine Cipriano in his mother's womb, sucking his thumb.

Beth said...

Have noted the book. Confession - I have a (slight) obsession with all things Kennedy. Have tried analyzing it but finally decided just to go with it. There are worse obsessions to have. Love that picture and quotation with your post of today.

(And, hey, if you ever find that "mutant sort-of paper clip sort of thing" - I could use one.)

Isabella said...

I started reading Libra a couple years ago. I don't know why I put it down...

1963 was a few years befoare my time, but it was the year my family moved to this continent, and I always supected that was more than mere coincidence.

cipriano said...

I finished this book today, dear friends.
Oh, I highly recommend it, on many levels.
It was a profoundly terrific read!
Isabella.... dig this book out and give it another try!