Visit any household that has kids and chances are there’s a measuring door somewhere near the kitchen. Measuring doors can be identified easily by the progression of fingerprints and pencil marks measuring the growth rate of sprouting children. For me, seeing the miniscule gradations from week to week, month to month, year to year was probably my first realization that change happens, that — despite the seeming sameness of day-to-day comings and goings — we do in fact move through time and space towards a terrible and undefined vanishing point.
UN-philosophically speaking, however, what REALLY mattered to me about the Lee family measuring door was the steadily diminishing distance between my sister, Pat’s growth rate and my own. And in particular, that very special day when MY pencil mark finally nestled one-sixteenth of an inch further from the kitchen baseboard than hers did.
I knocked on Pat’s bedroom door politely because she had her mocking DO NOT DISTURB sign displayed.
“Can’t you READ?“ she howled. The “Rubber Soul” Beatles album played in the background, its groves worn nearly smooth from continuous use.
“Yeah. . . BUT this is really IMPORTANT!“
The door flew open. “What do you WANT?“
“Nah, nah-na, NAH-na!” I hooted. “I’M taller than YOU are!”
“Big, deal!” She slammed the door.
So much for diminishing vanishing points.