When I walk in my house I see pictures, bought long ago, framed and hanging —de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore— that I've cherished and stared at for years, yet my eyes keep returning to the masters of the trivial—a white stone perfectly round, tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell, a broken great-grandmother's rocker, a dead dog's toy—valueless, unforgettable detritus that my children will throw away as I did my mother's souvenirs of trips with my dead father, Kodaks of kittens, and bundles of cards from her mother Kate.
Rachel M. Simon
The Chicago Cubs 1908–2015 In the hazy birth records of the Arkansas of Europe my Bubbie’s birth scrawled in Yiddish, as eight days past a minor Jewish holiday and not the week before the Cubs most recent World Series victory, fall 1908. Ten years since Bartman cursed his Cubs right out of their first shot at the National League pennant a since-1908 champless existence. Bartman won’t take your calls, or any major network news organ. But the Sun-Times published his every address to find fans awaiting him lunch hour and bath. To become unfamous on Chicago’s north side when you deflect the ball out of Moises Alou’s waiting glove is a challenge. We are assured—Cubs fan Bartman’s healthy, employed, still in Chicagoland. Twenty years before Penicillin’s discovery and two before the bra’s invention the Cubs last won the Series. When the NFL, NBA, and NHL didn’t exist. My Bubbie a baby hadn’t heard of America where she’d later give birth, or Chicago, place of her brother’s future suicide—more camp trauma than Cubs letdown. Bartman holds no vendetta against Alou despite his motherfucker hollers aimed to stands. It was never Bartman’s fault, you can’t make a double play from your seat. Moises, you can’t tell a little league coach not to reach for a major league ball aimed at your heart.