She sat on the chair in her grad student apartment and she told me about the lecture on Marx and laws she was going to give. I took a picture, although she doesn’t realize it. I was struck by magic of a rare and spectacular sort.
In 2011 I coached her debate team over Skype and I read Marx to them. Specifically the bit about the alienation of labour. We had a late night conversation on Saturday and I told her the truth. She will far eclipse me. She will research and she will publish and she will lecture. I will see her cross three different university stages, I will see her get a PhD and one day I will sit in a classroom and I will watch her teach university students.
I will never be famous. At 39, I’m ok with that. This morning, while she went off to class, I made her bed, made soup out of the left over thanksgiving turkey, swept the floor, answered some work emails, worked a bit on my thesis and I’ll head down to campus to meet her for lunch.
I told her something else on Saturday. That all I wanted was to take a small part of my world and make it better. To know that part of me lived on. I love Marx. Oh, I don’t agree with him, but the idea that we give our best selves, our most truly human selves in our labour and we are alienated from that when we sell it? There’s a truth in that. She’s turned the idea of consent and contracts into an entire thesis.
I do not plan on leaving this world for a very long time. I have things to do, mayhap more coaching to give. I’d like to teach her to make soup.
But this weekend, in the middle of the production of producing a full thanksgiving meal in the world’s smallest kitchen, with the world’s dullest knives (I sharpened them on the bottom of coffee mugs), while flavouring the carrots with OJ and taco seasoning, I saw magic.