Yes, I’m thinking about you tonight because tomorrow is Father’s Day.
I do this every year but this year it’s somehow different.
I’m slowly beginning to forget the subtle things about you, small and insignificant as they may seem it bothers me because I want to remember all of you; the sound of your voice calling my name in the middle of a Little League baseball game, the touch of your hand on my shoulder when I was the losing pitcher, your infectious laugh, your bad singing (not so insignificant, according to Mom), your funny stories, the aroma of your homemade western omelets and the always present bowls of Quaker Oatmeal that you made on the stove on Saturday mornings, the feeling of your hand in mine.
I miss you dearly and pray that I’ve made you proud.
I like to think I’ve been a pretty good Dad myself.
And that’s because of you.
You rocked it, Dad.
And I thank you.
Hope you’re still watching over me.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there.
Anyone can be a father but it takes someone very special to earn the coveted title of ‘Dad‘.
ps. I’m the one in the red bow tie (thanks, Mom). My cousin Tim was visiting another planet. Don’t worry. He made it back safe. 😉
I am currently reading two books: “Book of Shadows” by James Reese and “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” by Alice Munro.
I always have several in the backpack.
The count was three as of earlier this evening before I finished
“When God Winks” by SQuire Rushnell, a belated birthday gift from my sister
(actually, wicked belated ).
WGW is a book that explores the deeper meaning of coincidence in our lives.
God Wink ; a personal signal or message, directly from a higher power, usually, but not always, in the form of a coincidence
My sister bought it for me simply because she and I are intensely familiar with God Winks.
The book goes on to explain that these instances of coincidence (or serendipity, if you like that better) are signposts from the heavens that we’re on the right track; cosmic signals that we are not alone.
I’ve had many “winks” in my lifetime.
A few years after I began writing, I entered a contest at Writer’s Digest.
Ten people could win $100 in WD writing books and a year’s subscription to Writer’s Market, a WD site that helps find a home for that oh, so lonely priceless manuscript.
Months passed and I forgot all about the contest BUT I was still writing.
I remember sitting at the computer one day and staring at the damned blinking cursor thinking, “What the hell am I doing? I can’t write. This is stupid.”
Feeling disgusted and totally unoriginal, I closed Word and checked my email.
Word of the Day.
I opened the email and started yelling.
Ask my wife. I NEVER WIN ANYTHING. Truth.
A wink to be sure.
And hey, I’m still writing, right?
Now I pass the pen to you guys. I love coincidence and I love winks.
Tell me about one.
Come on, now. You have at least one if you really think about it.
If you haven’t, you’re not looking hard enough. 😉
My sister and I have noticed some changes in our father.
Whenever we talk to him about ‘old times’ (instead of just sitting there staring vacantly out the window) his eyes fill with tears. He’s not totally crying but something is definitely going on.
We wonder what’s really going through his mind?
It was this thought and some help from the band “Tears for Fears” that are responsible for the inspiration behind this post.
I didn’t plan on posting tonight but sometimes you just have to let some of your writing go.
the Size of Sorrow
Stain my mimeographed life
Wondering if today is some strange and future tomorrow
Time meanders away
some perpetual 36-hour day
But what is the size of sorrow?
a Fool on the hill
a sad silhouette of your absence
what remains breaks the heart of the borrow
Tomorrow is near
like an invisible tear
I’m wondering what is the size of your sorrow?
This is so far out of control.
You would think the government would have stepped in by now.
You think Cape Cod was a bit slow last year?
Just wait . . .
When I was 9 years old I had a favorite paperback book called “Stories from the Twilight Zone”, a book of short stories based on the skin and bones for sketches produced on the TV program of the same name.
I had a favorite called “Walking Distance”, the story of a tired middle aged business man that leaves the big city one weekend and simply drives in an effort to get away from his job and the Rat Race in general.
His car breaks down and he gets towed to a local garage for repairs when he sees a road sign for the town he grew up in years ago.
He asks how far it is to the town and is told, “It’s walking distance.”
He enters the Twilight Zone and walks into his hometown of 40 years ago where his mother and father are still alive.
It’s funny that I was falling for these kinds of tender stories when I was ten.
Yeah, I was a weird kid, huh?
Much of my writing loosely falls into the same sentimental category. Go figure.
I started thinking about the last good day I had with my mother and father, sadly the memory has vanished deep into the recesses of my own scattered mind.
The ‘moment’ did happen though when I came to a realization that I could never get those moments back; accepting the idea was painfully difficult but I knew it had to be done.
It occurred to me that I began saying goodbye to the individual pieces of both of them, various facets of their personalities, phrases they often used and the stories they loved to tell.
I remember fruitlessly trying to pull my mother back into my world with my “remember when” queries that all too quickly lost their magical powers.
If I’ve learned anything at all from their tragic situation it’s that life is about seizing moments, grabbing them by whatever means possible and never ever letting them go.
I only wish I’d realized that fifteen years ago, wish I’d accepted their fates sooner, if that makes sense.
But I’m only human and I desperately wanted to believe otherwise.
If I could have several more hours with both of them it would be spent on the back deck of the ‘Goodbye House’.
It would be a warm but comfortable summer night with nothing but a cricket soundtrack and a deep, orange creamsicle sunset off to the West.
My father would be standing by the grill wearing his signature wrinkled Bermuda shorts (or were they seersucker? God forbid), sans shirt with his pot belly exposed to the world with a can of Busch beer in his hand as he flipped burgers and hot dogs.
My mother would be flitting around the kitchen like some culinary Tasmanian devil putting the finishing touches on one of her ‘signature’ desserts.
We wouldn’t be talking about anything in particular; it would just be like it once was.
But it would be different to me because I would mentally file away and lock every smile, every laugh, and every taste and smell living inside that one bittersweet summer evening.
And I would remember all of it again, if I had one more chance.
Maybe the truth of the matter is that those memories are never very far away; in fact they’re easily accessible because wherever I am, ‘home’ is always close by.
Actually, it’s walking distance . . .
Most of the time I’m able to let the daily bullshit and banter sift through the cranial grates inside my cue ball noggin but on occasion I get a difficult clinker that won’t pass through.
I have to take it out and look at it and figure out why I can’t mentally digest it.
Case in point: the other night I was surfing the net for the latest in the way of books on Alzheimer’s disease; a simple and innocent task, right?
Imagine my surprise (and horror) to find a book titled “Alzheimer’s for Dummies”.
Needless to say, my searching was over for the night.
I’d found a seriously incongruous clinker that fueled my rage against the literary machine.
I was livid.
This was a subject much too close to home for me and to see it reduced to a ‘manual for dummies’ format personally devastated me.
“Dummies” manuals cover a range of topics: Chess, Poker, MSWord, Windows Vista and Grammar, to name but a few.
But Alzheimer’s disease?
Personally, it was unthinkable.
Why not “Breast Cancer for Dummies”?
How would that go over?
Believe me, I know.
I’ve lost too many friends to the disease and I would be outraged at the total lack of compassion and sensitivity used in publishing such a book.
What the hell is going on here?
I must be losing my mind.
I’ve checked out the contents of the AFD book and I’ve no doubt the author’s intentions were good.
But . . .
So this is what’s it’s come to?
Christ in a sidecar, I’m almost speechless here.
File this one under “roll up that manual and insert forcefully into your keester, sideways“.
But maybe there’s a “Dummies” guide for that as well.
Hey, if ICHC can get a book deal, why the hell not these buttmonkeys?
IMHO, those suffering from this disease deserve an apology from these inconsiderate ‘Dummie’ assholes.
Do I know what I’m talking about here?
Yes, I think I do.
All too well . . .
Late night, Duke Street
the wet cobblestones shine and sparkle, bubble and squeak; and the dense fog rolls in
the clock tower chimes twelve
And it’s Zero for Zooz
Late night, Duke Street
the gauzy moon bleeds and drips, gaslights burn
and gossamer sheets of a hazy white sift through
the inimical clouds of night
the clock tower chimes three
And it’s Zero for Zooz
Westminster . . .
Sunrise, Duke Street
a languid sun cracks itself open and splashes some invisible and distant horizon with
salmon pinks, royal purples and bright orange crush
the clouds of night rest just beneath the hush of dawn
and the clock tower chimes in crystal silence
And it’s Zero for Zooz
and Westminster waits . . .
I remember, Mom.
(3.30.28 – 3.30.08)
Missing you, as always . . .
I checked my “search stats” today and one caught my eye:
‘beer or smoke – which one is worse for you’
Hmmm . . .
I’d have to say neither.
What’s way worse is too much Klaus Nomi . . .
Too much Nomi will eventually fry your brain.
It’s Charlie Chaplin meets Gary Numan
And then some . . .
Yoiks. (or Yolks)
Happy Easter, folks.
No happy and snappy eggs for you. Sorry.
Hopefully, I’ll see you all back here next week.
peace, out . . .
I’m sitting cross-legged on a mysterious and deserted beach with nothing but the sound of the incoming tide.
The ocean is dark, brooding and occasionally offers up a glimpse of a dying whitecap. There’s a slight breeze but for the life of me I can’t tell if it’s warm or cool, it just is.
The full moon is partially blocked by the numerous passing clouds but there are intermittent flashes of light, possible thunderstorms that illuminate the wide expanse of beach before me.
I can almost see the curvature of the earth near the horizon.
The sky begins changing day to night, night to day and the passage of 24 hours is not unlike the second hand of some diabolical and uncontrollable timepiece.
The wind begins to scream and I realize that I’m slowly beginning to disappear, grain of sand by grain of sand. I am but a slight aberration in the ground below me.
The image of a weather-beaten sphinx flitters around my dreaming subconscious mind.
It’s then that I see the shadow of a street sign of sorts in the water, roughly 10 feet from the shore. I squint hard trying to see it during the brief intervals of light.
It says “5 miles to Vandmere”, a place I’ve never heard of before.
According to Google, it doesn’t exist; and by the end of my strangely epic dream,
nor do I.
Maybe it’s a place I’m just not supposed to find.
I’m open to any interpretations.
One freaky ass dream, folks.
Should you see any signs for “Vandmere” email me a picture and send directions.
Maybe I should check it out . . .