Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More



San Francisco, California, USA

June 12, 2003

This essay, Alexandra, is the companion piece to
  1. Babe On The Freeway
  2. Alexandra II
in that order.

It is also the first in a group of sixteen about my daughter Alexandra:
  1. Alexandra
  2. Babe On The Freeway
  3. Light In The Night
  4. Alexandra II
  5. Santa Barbara
  6. True Gold
  7. Goleta Beach
  8. Getting Into Your World
  9. Fly Baby Bird!
  10. Celebration At Essaouira
  11. The Woman She Creates Herself To Be
  12. City Girl
  13. Vocal Prowess
  14. Lost And Found: A Tale Of Ownership, Loss, And Triumph
  15. Girly Girl
  16. My Baby Girl, Now A Bride
in that order.

It is also the third in an open group on People: I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt who inspired this conversation.

It seems like it was only yesterday I delivered her and cut her umbilical cord, my daughter Alexandra whose name means "the healer and defender of mankind". She was born with her eyes open. Her head emerged, and she looked around with already opened eyes, like you may land at a new airport and look around, with a kind of "OK, we're here - let's get on with it" attitude.

This morning she was at my bedside, 12 years old, waking me at 5:00am to drive her to San Francisco airport to fly - unescorted for the first time - to Boston to have a summer vacation with her cousins.

She'd packed a laptop computer (a 12 year old with a laptop computer?) and her clothes in a rollaboard. She was wearing her new sneakers and windcheater I'd bought her. She positively shone with anticipation.

The drive to the airport was uneventful. We made light conversation about transformation (yes, a 12 year old can really get it). We went over the routine of the chaperone service that United Airlines provides. I asked her if she would cry when it was time for her to go. She said she didn't know. She asked me if I would cry when it was time for her to go. I said: "Yes.". She said: "Don't worry, Dad. You'll be OK ...".

We checked in her rollaboard and went through security. I made it clean through, but they really got her. They made her take off her shoes, her jacket, her belt, and her broach. They wanded her and they asked her questions and they apologized to her as well, and I stood there watching her as she stood for all of our lost innocences.

When the fifteen minute announcement to board was made, the chaperone came over and was really great with us. I gave him the paperwork, and I hugged my girl. She told me she loved me, and I said: "That's what I love about you the most: that you love me.".

And then she was walking down the walkway with the chaperone with her back to me. Her hair cascaded over her shoulders, and I had a warm realization that from the back, her silhouette reminded me of my mother's. Ah! The women in Laurence's life ...

I thought: "Oh, God! I'm going to cry ... please don't let me cry ...", but it was too late. I stood there helplessly, tears streaming freely down my cheeks.

God! Oh God! Oh God! Will anyone see me crying?

God, people did see me crying ... standing there alone at the entrance to the walkway, a grown man crying like a baby. They looked away, pretending to ignore me like they were ignoring a homeless person or someone who embarrassed them to look at.

As she reached the end of the walkway to enter the airplane, she turned, and she seemed surprised to see me still standing there. It was clear to her I was in tears (can't stop this flood, now that the dyke is breached ...), and she smiled a smile at me that men will murder for ... and was gone.

* * *

She called me as soon as she arrived in Boston, and in the background, I could hear her cousins literally shrieking with delight to have her there. She said she was OK, said goodbye, and then passed the telephone to her aunt (my sister in law), and then I could hear her, too, in the background, shrieking with delight, going mad with the joy of being with her cousins again.

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