I’ve come to accept that this dogs a** is now my pillow.
I’ve written about my Daddy before. I love him. We all know that. He’s my HERO. He’s stuck here in this foreign land with me for the time which makes me feel awful knowing how much he loves his home. That’s part of the reason I wanted to let him know how much I appreciate him today.
Father’s day, 2016. I don’t have much to offer. I gave him bedding for the mattress and box spring he has in his room here. The one that sits directly on the floor with no frame, no head board. For months he’s been sleeping without even a fitted sheet. So, I got him a sheet set and soft blanket, king size naturally. It must fit who it’s meant to cover, after all.
He loved it.
Yesterday on my excursion to the book store I bought him a trivia book. He loves filling his head with interesting (yet less than useful) facts. He’s been reading it since I gave it to him. I think he likes it.
Today, I panicked. I had no idea what to do. If we were home we could go fishing or see family. Have a party, or, at the very least, share the day with my sister. But, it’s just the two of us. Living in a borrowed home. None of his personal belongings within 2,000 miles.
He likes to drive. I tried to find a cool scenic highway. There aren’t any nearby. I remember the Sunday drives growing up. We would change clothes after church and get in the car. We’d get lunch or pack a picnic and we would take off into the country side.
My memories of these trips are all filled with warm yellow light and hazy sunshine. There was no music playing on the speakers, only stories being told. We would pass something interesting or familiar and Dad would spin his tales. My sister and I would often look at each other and smile, often giggling under our breath when we wondered if what he said was true. Our Dad is one of the goofy one’s. Always willing to make a fool of himself to make his little girls laugh.
I’d poke at my sister. She’d take it for awhile. Then she’d say, “Mom!”. I’d stop and do my best to look innocent. It never worked. That woman knew me better than I’ve ever known myself. I remember watching her from the backseat when the car was silent and the bumpy roads would bounce me toward sleep like my mother did when I was just a baby. Her face was often the last thing I saw before my eyes finally closed. They’d put up a good fight but slumber won out.
Today there was no drive, though. Nowhere to go. No memories to recall fondly. Another plan needed hatching.
I thought about the museum. Civil rights or art. I didn’t think he’d enjoy either of those. No go.
I thought about a movie but nothing he would be interested in was playing. Again, I had no idea what to do for the most deserving man in the world.
My sister wired me money. “Take Dad somewhere.”, she said as she sat alone without a Father to celebrate with today. My circumstance forces uncomfortable absences on people who don’t deserve it. She misses Dad today and she has no mother on Earth to talk to about it. Sorry, Sarah. It will all be sorted out soon enough.
So, I took him to the bookstore. A passion we share. He had no idea I was taking photos. He didn’t know I’d write this either. I wonder what he will do when he finds out I’ve secretly documented our day. Like a ninja.
Off we went to spend Sarah’s money. Woohoo! I LOVE spending Sarah’s money.
THIS is where I get it from. It all makes sense now. Give me books. ALL of the books. BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS! I NEED them ALL!
He got seven books for himself, and one for me, of course. If there is one thing my parents were ALWAYS willing to buy, it was books. I’m sure he’d have bought me as many as I’d asked for (within reason) but, I’m gratefully spoiled, not rotten.
Then we went to eat. As we were trying to pick a place I wasn’t very helpful. I will literally eat any type of food and enjoy it. I like food. I like it as much as I like books. THAT’S saying something.
My Dad and I decided on a place eventually. In a surprising way. I didn’t see it coming though I probably should have.
He asked me, “What would Mom like?”
I listed a place we ate at a lot as children. It rhyme’s with schmerkins. They don’t have those here, though. Her next favorite was a popular “italian” chain. Luckily for us, the local equivalent was right next door to the bookstore.
There’s Daddy. Embracing the age of technology. Making sure I know all about the interesting facebook stories, whose birthday it is today (happy b-day Pickles), and how to get an alligator to open it’s mouth if one ever tries to eat me. Good to know.
There’s my masterpiece. I call it “moonlit flower by pre-k student”. Medium, Crayon. Pallette, orange, blue, and red. Canvas, butcher paper tablecloth. It’s one of my finest creations. Before leaving the table I wrote “To Mama” above my signature. I don’t really know why. I suppose I was just trying to invoke her spirit somehow. Especially since I killed a cardinal with my car yesterday. That sh** f***ed up my whole day. Poor bird.
We got back “home” and Dad started reading. I took a nap, on accident. Dad grilled steak for supper. He’s still reading now. He shared with me why he loves to read and I felt like I’d heard his words before. In fact, I had. When they had come out of my own mouth.
When we read, we aren’t really here. We’re in a story somewhere else. Better than a movie because we create the imagery. We decide what characters look like. We decide how their voices sound. We decide how they move and glance at the other characters around them. While reading a book, we write short stories of our own while taking breaks away from the pages, imagining where the story goes next. How would we continue the story if we were the author? We have hopes for the outcome of the imaginary lives that only live inside the binding. I find my mind is much more colorful than reality or even movies can possibly depict. I suspect that my Father’s is, as well. He taught me how to use my brain. He taught me well.
Happy Father’s Day, Pops. Thanks for teaching me to create. Thanks for teaching me to be kind. Thanks for teaching me to work hard. Thanks for being there, always, without fail. I enjoyed our day together. I hope you did as well. I hope we get another year together. We both know there is no guarantee. But, today, I hope you saw how appreciated you are. It’s always difficult to show emotions so grand as there is no action, gesture, or material item big enough to properly express it.
The sentiment would be best expressed if I could take you to the moon for a picnic. I would tell you tales on the way up of all of my memories of you. Of lessons you taught me. Of character you gave me by simply being an outstanding example. Looking toward the Earth and then out to the stars, I’d tell you then that that is how much you mean to me. You were the Universe when I was small and as an adult I see it clearly. The abilities I possess, the attributes I claim, my ability to travel through this life are all mine because of how you raised me. Yes, a spaceship picnic. That’d be the only fitting gift. That’d be the only proper expression of how grateful we are for you.
Maybe next year.
Love ya Dad!
Typically you will see a candy apple in a bright shade of red. Typically I don’t do things typically. These bad boys are delicious and they look like marbles! There was a strange excitement in the twirling and twisting after I dipped them in the syrup. I knew I wouldn’t have a clue what they’d look like. I knew they’d each be unique. How delightful.
I took myself on a date and I have to say, I’m quite a gentleman.
I’ve often been accused of being a loner. Or antisocial. Or a man hater. I’m none of those things. I like being alone from time to time. That is true. I like to think. For me, that’s best done alone. I’m not afraid of silence or introspection. In fact I prefer it to meaningless noise and small talk. Being on my own feels natural.
As a small child I often played alone in my room as my imagination was vibrant and strange and my sister had a quiet and gentle presence whereas mine was rambunctious and wild. I felt no need to force myself on her as I was perfectly content on my own. We played plenty. She’s my best friend, after all.
I have often found it difficult to truly relate with most of the people I’ve met, though. I was usually at level 10 and most wanted me to be at level 2. And for me everything has to have meaning, including the relationships and friendships I take great effort caring for and nurturing.
I like people just fine. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s fun to be part of a loud crowd. I’m comfortable there, as well. I just never found it necessary to have a hundred friends and a thousand interactions as the few good friendships I have maintained have always been fulfilling enough for me.
I don’t understand why people feel bad for me as I eat alone in a restaurant. I don’t mind it at all. Everyone has to eat. I could hide in my car and eat fast food to spare their feelings I suppose as they imagine I’m lonely or sad. Some have made the assumption that I’ve been “stood up” or that there must be something wrong with me. I don’t carry much concern for the opinion of strangers, though. So I’ll gladly go on a solitary date with myself.
My unimpeded view was magnificent under the stormy skies. The chairs were wicked bouncy and the air smelled nice.
I settled on the Butcher’s Cut and ate it in it’s entirety. All alone. Happily. Without having to pause for conversation or attempt to be attractive with grease on my face. Let’s be honest. I wouldn’t have attempted to be attractive eating a burger if I had been sitting across the table from James Dean.
I devoured this masterpiece in silence. As a mother of 3, silence is as rare as the inside of that delightful beef patty.
I wasn’t self conscious, though strangers stared with looks of wonder. I wasn’t bummed to be on my own. I fought hard for my independance. No tears will be shed today because of it.
When I had sufficiently stuffed myself full of truffle oil and frites, I hit up my favorite book store for some much needed inspiration.
Then off I went to see a movie. I heard the dudes behind me whispering. “Sad” they said. For you or me, Pal? I don’t need a chaperone. I assure you, I can handle myself just fine. I’m not certain if anyone else is capable of that task, though.
Here is how the date ended. Back in my bed. Alone. No expectations. No inappropriate advances. Treated myself like a lady all night which is a welcome change from what I had become accustomed to. I didn’t get kidnapped or raped either, so, that was nice.
On went the leggings and t-shirt and cartoons.
If all dates were this easy and someone would treat me as well as I have learned to treat myself, maybe I would consider dating an option. But, for now, I’m cool with this arrangement. I’m fine with the assumptions, murmers, and sad stares. I’m fine with me so I’m cool with you.