David Greenberg,

David Greenberg,

A weeklong electronic journal.
Oct. 2 1998 3:30 AM

David Greenberg,

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       New York City law requires owners to pick up after their dogs. This morning, heading out on my Central Park jog, I see a blind woman with a dog in one hand and a plastic baggie in the other, groping around on the sidewalk to pick up his mess.
       She hits upon a raised section of asphalt. Mistaking it for her quarry, she tries in vain to sever it from the rest of the pavement. I jog by without offering to help. I will help a blind woman cross the street. I will help a blind woman carry her packages. This is above and beyond the call of duty. I do consider writing a letter to the city or an Op-Ed in the New York Times suggesting an exemption for the blind.
       I return to see that the morning's paper has arrived. Dan Quisenberry, the Kansas City Royals' relief pitcher, has died at age 45. This makes me deeply sad, especially coming on the heels of the early death of Jeff Moss, the creator of Cookie Monster.
       Quisenberry came to prominence just as I was reaching the age when I began to like players for their personalities, not just for their statistics. I remember a Roger Angell profile in The New Yorker that compared Quis' screwy "submarine" pitching style to his screwy personality. It contained, I think, a line from Quis: "I have seen the future, and it is a lot like the present, only longer." Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case for Quis. Still, I liked the line so much I used it in my high-school commencement speech. I recall feeling proud that I had used a quotation probably never used in a high-school commencement speech before or since.
       Later in the day my friend Larry calls from Cleveland. He's in a bar with two friends of his who write for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, one named Philip Morris, one nicknamed "Slappy." I had met these two terrific gentlemen on a recent trip to the place Randy Newman called "Cleveland, city of light, city of magic" (it was in a song about the polluted Cayuhoga River literally catching on fire). We discuss the Indians-Red Sox series. (Quisenberry aside, I'm from Boston, one of those I'm-virtuous-because-I-suffer Sox fans.) Larry, Philip, and Slappy seem to be having more fun than I.
       Thinking of my trip to Cleveland, I am reminded of one of the perks of twinhood. Jon, as a member of the Writers Guild, has a membership card that gets him in free to movies during Oscar season, and when I was in Cleveland, it helped save me $30 at the Rock Hall of Fame. Not to mention all the free movies I saw last winter when Jon was vacationing in New Hampshire, where I guess there are no movie theaters. Come to think of it, at Jon's wedding, when I was complaining about all the twin cracks, my brother-in-law said to me, "Just think of all the free movies." Point well taken. Not to mention the "Diary" fee. I sure hope the future is a lot like the present, only longer.