Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Here is what I wanted to show you today:

They are images from 2ack's "Creative Journal" that came home from the school the other day.  You all know I love the school shit stuff.  (I wonder if anyone will see what I did there?  No.  I wrote Z's name as 2ack because he keeps making his stupid 'Z' backwards and it looks like a 2. Wait "Two-Ack."  How cool is that?  I might just start calling him Two-Ack.)

I love the blockhead couple, holding hands, locked in some sort of mind-meld.  And tiger-striped-ninja-dude, what is there to say?  He's perfect.

However, life always gets in the way of simple things and complicates them.  Like evolution, why didn't we just stay single-celled, what's simpler than that?  And food, pick apple, eat apple; there is no high-fructose corn syrup necessary.  And packaging, good God... nevermind.

And stories, life certainly complicates even the simplest of narratives.  Say I tell you I went to the beach, you get curious; what beach, when, why did you go, with whom, what did you get?  Why, why, why?

When I chose the two images above and scanned them yesterday afternoon I had no idea at the time that I would meet them that very night.  I sure did.  At a local dive dump wannabe-biker bar tavern.  Oh what the hell, I am not going to tell you it's name so I'll tell it for real, the place is a dump.

I guess that sounds judgmental, it is truly not.  I have put in some hard time on both sides of the bar at more than a few dumps, or dives, or fancy-assed high end dumps because they are all the same, some grittier, some glitzier.

"What beach bar, when, why did you go, with whom, what did you get?  Why, why, why?"  See how it works?  Now the whole story gets hijacked because I feel the need to address your concerns and questions, such as:  Why the f**k was I in a dive bar?

Right, well, short version:  I play guitar and sing and this bar has a hosted open mic night on Mondays and I went to see what it would be like.  That was easy...

Of course the whole thing is a big complicated mess.  For instance, I've been thinking a lot these days about my role, our role, everybody's role really, in nurturing our kids, your kids... you get it.  I think that phase of their development is beginning to end (not that it will ever really end) and now we become mentors, role-models, heroes; someone to be emulated, admired, copied.

Why does this concern me?  Well, honestly, I don't do much besides take care of the family.  Again, big complicated mess.  I like what I do and think it is as valid a life option as anything else, I am cool with it.  However, there isn't a lot to see; you know, I cook, I clean, I shop, I deliver, I volunteer, I wash clothes.  Not really stuff seven year old boys really want to look up to.

I know right?  I'll show them how to go to bars and drink beer.  Brilliant.  That's not the point, you see (and I've touched on this already in the post Everything Happens) I want them to see me as something other than just their caregiver.  I want them to see me as something bigger, I guess, a rockstar, a sports superstar, a hero.

So, I guess I went to the bar in some sort of Wagnerian attempt to become a hero in the opera of my boys lives.  Bullsh*t, but, it's sorta true.  I think they need to see me as something else, something bigger, wilder, hipper, dreamier; not something better, just more interesting, more noticeable.

So, I get to the bar a little early.  I sit at the far end of the bar, near the pool tables and order a beer.  I say hello to a couple guys involved in what appears to be a pool tournament, and look around a little.  I have been here before, a million years ago (actually twenty-eight), and it hasn't changed much.  It smells a little less smokey 'cause ya can't smoke in bars these days, but who could forget those weird brick booths and that half wall that runs down the middle of the place.

Then, the blockhead couple above walk in.  I think I recognize them and they go to the bartender, order a couple drinks and go to the two seats right next to me, swivel around, and proceed to play a TV trivia video game thingee mounted at the end of the bar.  For two hours.  Here, that was a while back I showed them to you:

Yep, that's them, exactly.  Isn't that odd?

I really didn't see this tiger-striped-ninja-dude:

But, if you took off his mask and put him in a a pair of cargo shorts, and a black t-shirt that said BOB, and gave him Jesus-sandals, but kept his spirit and spunk, he'd be a doppelganger for the harmonica-playing dude who accompanied the evening's host.  Everyone knows harp players are evil and, in exchange for the eighties gym bag full of harmonicas they always have and the ability to play them in an idiot-savantish way, they sold their souls to the devil.  This guy was a harp ninja, amazing, and very cool.  And he had that exact creepy smile...

The scene wasn't really one for me, in fact it was sort of like hanging out with a few old farts like me and playing a bunch of jam tunes to an audience of uninterested pool players, and, well, me.

So, I will continue to try to find my place to shine.  I wonder if this really makes sense to you, perhaps you are already visibly successful; maybe you play in a softball league and pound fat-ball homers over the outfielders' heads; perhaps you sing in church gloriously with humility and grace; maybe you are a fireman or a policeman, doctor, a vet; maybe you are a writer with shelves of novels to show or an artist working frenziedly in a paint-spattered studio.

Or maybe, you're just a parent.

And maybe you're already the biggest hero they'll ever need.


  1. I think all of us struggle with this. When I stayed at home (for the first 2 and i years of their respective lives) I felt almost inhuman... more of a machine than a person. Then the husband left and I had to go back to work... and I found a good job with a lot of flexibility, but no prestige. Let's face it... not many parents want their kids to grow up and be a mail lady.

    But eventually, I found my peace with it all. My kids saw a positive role model in me for providing for them as well as nurturing the things I loved (like your music does for you) and just as I settled into this role, they have changed the rules again.

    I find that I can spend more time on me now... they get off the bus, do their homework, and clean the house on their own. I can go for a run or to the grocery store and know the house will still stand when I get back. It's a whole new experience, one that I could never have fathomed before.

    Keep finding yourself, redefining yourself... and through that they will be able to find themselves when it really matters. :)

    OH... and I hope you at least had a beer. :)

    1. Thanks, Juli. It is always good to know others know how you are feeling. And no, I did not have "a" beer, I have never had "a," as in singular, beer in my life.