Standing in the Guthrie rush line,
waiting to buy tickets for
An attractive older woman turned
to ask me a question about a piece she was reading—
I think, part of an itinerary description
in a travel-package advertisement.
It was by George Steiner, and it said something about
an implosion of cultural forces in Renaissance Florence.
The woman wanted to know what Steiner meant
by the word ”implosion.”
I said I thought that the word “confluence”
might have been more apropos.
Then she asked me if I knew who George Steiner was.
She was slender—
maybe my age (62), maybe a good deal older—
with thin, chestnut-colored hair and
an elegant silk scarf.
Later, I saw her sitting by herself,
a little in front of me,
during the An Iliad performance.
I said that I thought George Steiner was a literary critic
who had made a big splash during the ‘60’s
(but I didn’t recall the title of his 1961 book,
The Death of Tragedy).
“I missed most of the ‘60’s,”
the woman said—“the Bay of Pigs,
the youth movement, the Vietnam War.
I was too busy taking care
of my children and my husband.”
She looked around as if unsure
of what had become of them—
seemingly stranded from another life
here in the Guthrie An Iliad rush ticket line.
“I’ve missed a lot myself,” I said sympathetically.
The woman thanked me and moved
up to the counter.