March 14, 2007

Checking the Years

A while ago the numbers of the checks I wrote started matching the years of the modern era. I first noticed it when I reached check #1945, the year everyone came home from the war and my parents got married: that check paid my rent. I paid the utility bill with the check for my birth year, 1952; my brothers’ birth years went for quarterly estimated taxes and my gasoline credit card. Check #1963, the year that began the seismic shift whose aftershocks echo all around us, was a Paypal purchase for online tutorials teaching my kids how to create animations. A couple of days after that, check #1968 -– an awful, awful year -- went to a bank credit card. The next day I smiled blissfully when I saw myself writing check #1969 -- the wheel was turning, we landed on the moon, I went to Woodstock and the Fillmore East, then off to Michigan for college -- for a doctor’s copay. Today I’ll write #1984: a different credit card, that’s all I do nowadays is pay off credit cards to Big Brother.

Check #2007? A couple more months down the road, I guess. And what will the ones after that commemorate? How much will we pay for the future, and what memories will overcome our children as they write their checks?