"It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing." — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)
Last night it was nearly nine and still 100 degrees outside. I sat indoors with the NYT crossword wishing my brains would work but they wouldn't. I just pondered its puzzles, felt quite stupid, wished I didn't. I told Norma and, because she is full of sympathy and because we share everything, she told me she too wished I wasn't so stupid.
So I rose, gathered my dignity with a theatrical flourish and chased her outside. She is quick and nearly impossible to catch, but barely had the back door banged before we stopped, staring up in awe. We saw, forming under a crescent moon, a sight long missed under weatherless sky. Quoth I:
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak...'"
She fetched her camera.
It was a good moment, a secret moment which I readily impart. After all, until everybody's told what not to tell, how are they going to keep a secret? Yes, it was with this thought I realized these were no random clouds; we were witnessing the formation of an Idiot's Tale --and standing under its influence.
We watched the clouds herd together. They swirled and climbed into gloaming night. We got excited!
Then we got bored. How long is this going to take? Are we there yet? We caught ourselves in horror. There's nothing going on! It's an empty assembly of furling vapors! We are imbeciles! Run!
We returned to indoor pursuits and finally retired. And I thought of retirement. Useful word --especially in crosswords-- that means getting to bed or getting up for work one morning and calling in old, which I did three years ago --stayed home with Norma because I could no longer see any reason to go where she wasn't. My brains returned.
At midnight I got up and went out again, with a bottle of wine, to watch the flashes of lightning and hear thunder cannonade in the east where the Idiot's Tale was dammed on foothills. Then wind changed and, over the next two hours, drew sound and fury over our yard. Lightning flashed with strobe-light frequency and thunder rolled. Then it rained.
I ran in and woke Norma. Wake up! Wake up! My pajamas are wet!
I was not an "only" child. I had three siblings, older and better armed than I. And I married. I have friends and acquaintances who have experienced none of these things and they are happy. But they have missed the running critique and commentary: they meet life not knowing what kind of idiots they are.
I believe I've just solved Macbeth.