For some reason, today I recalled an episode (a recurring episode actually) from childhood that I hadn't thought about in ages.
Imagine myself as a small boychild, smart but hardly differentiated from the world around him. Raise him in the formica and spaceships and Danish Modern of suburban Chicago, 1965 or so. Then transplant him to a country inn somewhere in New Hampshire that was full of decrepit German Jews, smelling funny and reading foreign newspapers. This was a vacation trip I was dragged on for some good number of years, as we made an annual pilgrimage to the East Coast to visit my grandparents who lived in Brookline, MA. They and their friends congregated at this resort called Besin's, which (unlike the rest of my universe) was emphatically not aimed at children.
I honestly have no real memory of what I felt there, but it must of been some mixture of boredom and the sheer stark terror of being in the vicinity of death. Something a seven-year old would have not the slightest knowledge of, but the quality is of such a magnitude as to be felt in the bones, in the very fabric of the cosmos.
I can't imagine what prompted me to think of these summers of boredom and the nearly dead, except that tomorrow is my last day of work at [prestigious research institution]