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Love letters

June 24, 2010

Our county tax assessor obviously knows more than the President and his representatives about where housing prices are going. We received a notice today with the good news that our 2011 property taxes will be lower than this year’s, and of course the corresponding bad news that our house will be worth significantly less. The number representing our decreased value contains more digits than the number representing our prospective tax savings. Puget Sound has joined the rest of America in the fairly disheartening experience of equity deadfall.

But what interested me was that the tax good news/bad news arrived shortly after I had been reading 2 Kings 6-7, which chronicles horrific inflation during a time of war, and the degradation of humanity to the point of infant cannibalism. Earlier this morning, my friend sent me a link to a lovely blog by a farm wife/writer, with a post about love letters she and her husband have exchanged over their years together. Stylistic similarities between the Canadian farm couple and my husband and me are tenuous, but we both have histories as couples of captivating one another early on with our use of language. Our romance with language was part of our romance with each other.

I promise all of this is going to come together.

This morning did not actually start out awfully well. I quickly depleted my physical reserves. The Covenant Cat’s blood glucose level belied his profession of regulation. And everything just took a long time, because I had to sit and rest between things, which led to other distractions, not the least pleasant which was e-mailing my husband a heartwarming little note.

My morning flight is on time and on course; it’s just that I lack a plane.

He was duly enchanted. He affirmed that he would complete the heavier chores, and bid me to rest and conserve my energy. We exchanged a few graphics using some math and scientific symbols from the Word symbol collection. I was trying to make a mourning dove that he said looked like a fish with a fine ruffled collar, and then I made a bird flying in the sun that he thought was very nice.

Later, I mentioned my reading in Kings, because we are always mindful that the American economy has a knack for low housing prices co-occurring with horrific inflation. A short time later, the assessor’s notice arrived. A harmonious interchange, rooted in years of shared ideology, symbols, and values, ensued.

Our assessor sends greetings: lower taxes next year, and we are at 𝛅 = -12%. Nobody’s gonna be eating any babies around here anytime soon. Unless the government tries to fix this.

He responded,

Right. Our main earthly hope is the incompetence of the government to execute its plans. . . .

Whatever the dialect, every couple shares a unique set of idioms and symbols, and the algorithm that makes them all intelligible. Neither good news, nor bad news, nor any news, nor no news at all, will ever affect the language of bonding.


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