Now son…

I had a dream last night about my father. He and I were doing a late spring hike to the top of a peak in the High Sierra’s. Not all that safe a proposition as there was a lot of snow, and avalanches were a concern. As we went along, he counseled me with his “worried” voice. I know that tone, I use it all the time with my son when I think he’s about do to something stupid, and I want to help him make a good decision.

The dream left me with the distinct impression that he was even now looking after me, trying to keep me from doing stupid stuff (good luck with that). Even now, it is his voice I hear in my head when I’m about to do something dangerous, like ride a skateboard. “Now son…” he would say, and nothing else was necessary. The tone alone was sufficient to carry the message.

It’s been 8 months since he passed away, and I am now at the point where I am starting to miss him. Near Easter we realized we needed to cut down one of the trees in the back yard. I found myself wishing I could call him, and ask him to come down and help with the tree. Had he been alive, I’m sure he would have turned down such a request (his health was not all that great near the end), but I still felt the inclination.¬† Funny how after someone dies we try and fit them in our world anyway.

iPod awesomeness

The other day, I showed up at a client’s office in the morning, and several of us got to talking about art and such. As this kind of conversation often does, something was said that reminded me of a song, in this case, “I’m Big in Japan.” Not the version you probably know, but the Tom Waits song from the CD, Mule Variations. Well I thought it would be fun to play the song on my iPod, so I set the songs order to alphabetical by title, and searched for it that way. I was busy, and didn’t want to mess with the iPod anymore, so I just kept listening in alphabetical¬†order when the song was over. Sort of a fun way to do random songs.

Several days, and 490 songs later, I’m still in the B’s. In fact, I’m up to the Chemical Brothers “Block Rockin’ Beats.

490 songs just to get from BIG to BLO.



We’re on vacation in another town, have been since Sunday. The vacation started out sucking big time, Trevor came down with a cold, and then Teri and I both got sick after he recovered. We spent the first three days at a nice vacation rental hating life. Finally we got well, and my parents arrived soon after. Since then we’ve been having a good time.

Tonight my parents went out to visit with some friends out here, and invited me along, Their friend is, among other things, a novelist, and a pretty good one; someone an aspiring writer like myself would like to meet. Well I turned it down because I was feeling still a bit tired, and wanted some more happy family time.

So we decided to go out to the pool and play some. When we got there we jumped into the jacuzzi to warm up before going into the pool. Not a bad idea when the outside temp is pretty low. There were a couple of guys sitting in there, so I said hi. We talked back and forth for a bit, and then the next thing I knew we were having a great conversation. Hank, his son Dan, and myself talked for a long time. Far too long as it turned out. As I write this they are likely being chewed out by Hank’s wonderful wife (he was quite specific how great she was), and I know Teri is rather pissed at me. Why? Well because I pretty much ignored my son, ignored his need to play, ignored anything and everything about being a dad, all so I could continue to talk.

By the time I got home, they had both gone to bad.

Well this is not all that new. I am gregarious by nature, not always, but sometimes. When I am in the mood, call it manic if you will, I can be quite charming. This is not to brag, it is not something I am able to always turn on or off. It is more like something I can do, if given the right circumstances. The funny thing is, I didn’t think I was in the mood to be gregarious, or I would have gone out with my parents. Teri would not have minded because she knows I sometimes go out with friends to do the same thing. But because I stayed, she was left assuming I would be around to help, and I didn’t.

No two ways about it, I blew it. Big time. Since she is asleep I can’t go in there and grovel on my knees which is something I rightfully should do, without waking her up, and making it ever worse. So tomorrow I’ll be doing a whole lot of apologizing to her and to Trevor.

Since I have the time to write about it now, it made me start to think about the process. What is it about talking with an adult that is so alluring to me that I can sometimes forget my son, completely ignore him, in order to talk to a complete stranger? I mean that is pretty bizarre, isn’t it? The guys I talked to were very nice, and our conversation was great, but they were not family, and it is not particularity “sane” to put talking with a stranger over the needs of being with your child. Yet I have done exactly that twice in the past two months, one time tonight, and the other time with a neighbor I hadn’t seen in a while.

In the proper context, this behavior, at least the socializing aspects, are normal and healthy. I remember living in an apartment in my single days, and meeting people all the time in the jacuzzi, and having fun talking until all hours. However, it is not cool to disappoint your family in the process, and I do not think it is, even though I just did exactly that.

What can I say? Sometimes I blow it. Fortunately, Teri loves me regardless, or in spite of, my mania. I am a lucky man for that.

Also, I hope Hank and Dan didn’t suffer too much for their sins. They were great men, and we had a good time talking.

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