Thank you one and all for the birthday wishes. It warms an old philosopher's heart.
Today I enter the annual twenty day period when Susie and I are the same age. She was born on January 16th, 1933 and has, for as long as I have known her, been a year older than I. This age difference cannot be an accident. My father's father, Barnet Wolff, the co-founder of the Brooklyn branch of the Socialist Party, was a year younger than his wife, Ella. And his oldest son Walter, my father, was a year younger than my mother, Lotte. What is more, Barnet fell in love with Ella when he was a teenager. My father fell in love with my mother when he was a teenager. And I fell in love with Susie when I was fourteen [although in my case, it took me another thirty-nine years to persuade her to marry me.] How on earth do these things get passed on from generation to generation? I honestly do not know. There are also striking psychodynamic similarities in the three relationships, a fact I discovered late in life when I inherited and edited the vast cache of love letters exchanged by my grandparents and my parents.
Susie and I celebrated my birthday yesterday by going to see the new movie about Alan Turing, The Imitation Game. It is a very powerful movie, but deeply upsetting. When it ended, I sat in my seat and wept uncontrollably for some minutes, something I have not done in many, many years.