Al and the Ides

March 14th is Albert Einstein’s birthday. Since I’m unconversant with mathematics — though I can show off every once in a while with arithmetic — I can’t pretend to understand much about his theories of relativity except some of the changes they’ve brought. Lots of us leave a world completely changed from the one we were born into; he’s one of the very few who left a world his ideas had transformed.

And then there’s the 15th. The Ides of March, and if you want to know why it was called that — well, check here. All the historical and literary interest in the date stems from Julius Caesar getting knifed (44 B.C.) by pals. More personal interest attaches to the date because it begins a run of March and April dates that were birthdays of close friends growing up (and my sister’s birthday, too) — on the 15th, 21st, 22nd, 26th, 30th, 31st, and the 6th of April. Not dates I’ve written down — they just happened to stick in my memory, maybe because of the proximity of my own birthday. Whether I’ve been in touch with any of these people or not, I still think about each of them, if only briefly, as the days come each year.

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