I spent the 9.5 hour drive down to Georgia in grey drizzle listening to the first half of an unabridged audio version of Charlie Wilson's War. Wilson was very much of the Bill Clinton mold, a hard-drinking, womanizing, thoroughly likeable bon vivant who combined a shrewd grasp of political gamesmanship with a Southern good ol' boy liberalism and charm that made him able to steamroll over opponents and win over unlikely allies, all to the end of arming the Afghani jihadists who were fanatically opposing the Soviet invasion. Thus far, it's a great read, and I find myself oddly attracted to the Greek-American covert operative who proved Wilson's offbeat sidekick in the mostly-patrician CIA--an attraction more due, I suspect, to the latter's hatred for the blue-blooded, Ivy League-educated "cake eaters" which have historically predominated in that organization than for any co-ethnic sympathy.
What would it take, I wonder, for my Long Distance Correspondent and I to determine that we must meet in person? We continue our pleasant exchange of emails, respectfully inquiring as to the other's health and activities (he is writing a political science paper about the Hart-Devlin debate, I am in Georgia to celebrate Grandmommy's 91st birthday), and this is admittedly a comfortable and non-stressful relationship in letters. But it seems to me that one must needs have a possibility of meeting in person, and/or a considerable desire to have this happen, to shift a relationship from the simple, superficial realm of penpaldom. However, finances and the ocean between us seem determined to prevent this. I wish in some ways that I were the sort of woman in print that a man would move mountains (or at least scale them) to come to see, and to woo ("KYP's grammar is a thing of beauty! I must make her mine!") but I am un-Helenic as well as mostly un-Hellenic, and so have to be satisfied with solitude on the American mainland for the time being.
Curious other-ethnic sights of recent travel: a trio of Hasidic Jews that I initially mistook for a motorcycle club in North Carolina, and a small gold dashboard-mounted statuette of what looked like Boba Fett in the lotus position that I later determined to be an elephant-headed Indian deity.