Thursday, April 25, 2019

Those Waves

They are farther and farther apart but every now and then one catches you off guard and while it doesn't knock you back like it used to it still wobbles you for a few minutes. And so it was that last week i was assigned with getting the Posa back home. The Posa, for those not following along, is the Breadwinner's father, a miserable bastard who watches Fox News and thinks the Orange Shitgibbon is doing a bang up job in his current occupation. He's the last person i want to spend an hour or so trapped in a car with but part of my gig as houseboy means that sometimes i am forced to undertake unpleasant tasks. This was one of them. My job was to get him half way back to his hometown, what i refer to as the armpit of Pennsyltucky, where his other daughter would meet us and take him the rest of the way. Of course somehow right before i was supposed to take him back i heard the conversation upstairs between the Posa and the Breadwinner concerning politics, a topic in which the Posa can work himself into a lather about and a topic that can set him to yelling at top volume and making a complete ass of himself all while throwing a childish tantrum in the name of his right-ness.

On the day i learned of my father's diagnosis there was a semi-conscious shift in the way i have dealt with the boyos. I've worked to be a better father to my sons in the way that Pops was to me. It wasn't that i was some sort of menacing ogre ala Posa before that but i realized i could do better, that i could be more patient, be a better listener and put into practice what Pops taught me instead of preaching about it. I've cultivated a much stronger and healthier relationship with both of them since then and i think we all feel it and understand it. So while listening to the shit storm brewing upstairs the I-mac and i sat there shaking our heads. I sighed and told him i was looking forward to this ride about as much as another colonoscopy. In fact, i said, i'd much rather have the colonoscopy if given the choice, prep and all. He laughed and we discussed strategies for getting through the ride and i told him i would try to keep the topic of conversation away from politics or religion and firmly rooted in banal sports talk and if Posa got on one of the former i'd kindly state that "i don't fucking care." You'd say that? the I-mac said grinning. You know your old man kid, of course i would i replied. We both had a good laugh.

Fast forward past an uneventful ride and hand off of the Posa and to my heading west towards home. There was a beautiful early spring dusk of hot pink and blue. I pulled out the weed pen and took a drag, turned up the tunes and began to cruise back. It was then that my phone rang. It was the I-mac. I could hear the mischief in his voice. You alright dad? Yeah, i'm cool boy. He didn't get started on politics? I could see the boy's smile, picture him sprawled out on the downstairs couch. No kid i'm good, i laughed, made it the whole way and kept him distracted, heard the same dozen stories i've head a hundred times before. That's good he said, i was just checking to make sure you were alright and he let out a giggle. I'm good boy and thanks for looking out, then as is his usual he said, love you dad and hung up.

I was listening to this song and looking at the sky and feeling the wind through the crack of my window and thinking about my sons and my dad and the way things had gone and the way things are and god damn if that early spring air didn't feel cool on the warm tears that were running down my face. The only word that kept running through my mind was love, for the boyos, for pops, for the times i've failed at it, for the times it worked but mainly it was that line that ran directly from Pops to myself to the boyos. The universe knows that i spent a large number of days being a fuck-up, a selfish prick, and a right bastard to people who most likely didn't deserve it. But the dharma is balanced by equal parts light and dark and i'm getting better at finding the light. There are two particular points of light i pay close attention to, understanding that i'm on the back end of this existence so i should make it count, call it Indian summer, call wishful thinking, or just call it the Eternal Now but most importantly call it putting it to good use... and besides, my whole life i've been a sucker for the beautiful sound of a lap steel.


Exile on Pain Street said...

Pallie, you'd have unpleasant tasks even if you weren't the houseboy. There's no escape. I haven't spoken to my brother since last autumn because of politics. Do you know what? I don't miss him.

Just look what our dads missed out on. Sad, innit?

looby said...

Isn't that great, when your own start ringing you, just to check up! That's a lovely. And glad to hear there wasn't a murder en route :)

kid said...

confusion, spectacle, apathy, and violence: in the imperial sense the OS/US is swinging for the fences and hitting 4 for 4. by this average you could've agreed with him that the OS really is doing his best job, but I'm guessing the nuance would be lost.

it's a beautiful thing you've grown together with your boys. the good fight, always.