Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine For My Love

"And if ever to leave. I'll say before I go. That you're the best moment I've ever known." Ben Howard

Life travels so fast. When I was little, I would always want to be some older kid. The older kids got to stand up on the school bus or leave class early to stand on the corner. Adults would always tell me that I was too young for this or for that. It bothered me to be young. I didn't like being put off...still don't. Every year seemed to drag on and on as I would perceive it then. Now my perception of it is much different. I wanted to be the teenager smoking in the park playing the saxophone. Instead I was stuck in this over-sized Member's Only jacket in an under-sized body. I tried once to just go buy cigarettes with my lunch money. I went to the counter and asked for a pack of cigarettes...had no idea there were more than one brand. Lady laughed and told me to buy some gum. I looked up to the wrong people. Something about a rebellious teenager made me want to be one. I did end up being one.

Now I want a time machine. I want to travel back and watch it happen the entire night. It could take the place of dreaming. I could be sleeping soundly in the here and now, but back there in my mind. I don't want to be able to change anything, I just want to see it. I want to perceive it as I do now and not then. I want to speak to myself then, even if I can't hear it. I may have trusted very few if I could go back. I would have told that guy in the park to stop making me afraid of nuclear war and to get a job and stop playing that sax in the park, people are trying to sleep. I would have realized my potential far before it became so painful to achieve. I would have given all I had left in my hands to take a step out of the shadows and be who I wanted to be. I was always an underdog in my mind, but it took years to fight like one. I was held back and restrained by my own fears until late in my teens. I got to where I always wanted to be. I bought cigarettes and drank booze.

I was that cool, rebellious teenager. I hurt people on purpose, I think it made me feel powerful to make a person cry. I was the weakest of all teenagers. I was full of rage that had been held back. I was a lion that could not devour enough of everything that satisfied my need for life to fair. Life was never going to be fair...not for me...not for the millions who had things far worse than me....and that isn't fair. So I just let everything around me burn to the ground and I stood over it. I fought for every moment of every day. I gave in to nothing. I dared not to try anything. If it scared me, I ran at it. Nothing was enough. I became all that I had always been scared to become. I became fire.

It was empty. Inside, I wanted something better. I didn't want anger to fuel everything anymore, it took too much out of me. I was lonely. I was the loneliest man in the entire world. I fell in love with everything but what I needed.

Then I met her. She sat in front of me at a wedding. I had a girlfriend at the time, but she was another placeholder to something different. I went to the wedding with my brother instead. She was the most beautiful thing I had seen in my entire life. I played it cool. I didn't talk to her. My rule was that if you wanted the girl, act as if you didn't want anything to do with her. So I did that. We got to the reception and I knew we had something going on with the glances and the fast turning of our heads when the other looked. I took a picture of her looking at action she could have copied from me a hundred times. I walked over to her table and a friend of mine introduced her to me. She was holding some random person's baby. I took the baby from her. Years later she would make the claim that I purposely fondled her during this baby exchange, but I will deny it to death. We spoke for a minute and I sat back at my loud table and ate dinner. A couple of hours later because of her courage, we were dancing together. We had an amazing time, even though I looked like Jar Jar Binks flailing around with my arms and legs like a skier falling down a hill. That night I asked for her phone number and she hesitated, which was awesome to me.

The next morning I broke every one of my dating rules. I called her and spoke to her little Scottish grandma, who told me she was at college and would be back later. She called me back at some time, I don't know how long.

I loved her right away. She didn't mind that I didn't take her out to eat for dates and dates. She didn't mind me taking her to strange places like this train car below a hill where homeless people lived. She didn't mind that I didn't kiss her for a month after we started dating. I wanted to know her on a different level. She became my wife on June 9th 2001. She delivered our first child on January 13th 2003 and our second on May 6th 2006. This was the life I never knew that I always wanted. I never saw this coming. I didn't think I ever deserved it. I found my potential on the one thing I never saw growing up. A husband and a father. This was God's second greatest gift given to me.

Happy Valentine's Day my love. You are the best moments I've ever known.


Thanks for reading...Z

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts

 His eyes open at the high pitched sound of a swing set and kids shouting. At first he didn't know where or even who he was. He had asked that very same question hundreds of times before. He would wake up and roll out of the bed and onto the floor, crawl to the dresser and lift himself to his feet. He would stagger his way to the bathroom feeling every pulse from his heart blasting blood into a brain that felt full already. He would look at his creased and quickly aging face and ask himself out loud, "Who are you?"

Now he wakes in his car in a parking lot next to a school beside a big hill that the trains run on. He wakes to the sounds of recess. He wakes to the very sound of his own child playing with his friends. No one even knows he is there. He would pull down the back seat that opens a hole that leads to the trunk and would lie 50/50 between the back seat and the trunk. In the winter, he would start the car for 30 minutes several times a night to make it warm inside, then shut it off to conserve gas. He had to work too hard to pay for gas...and hurt too many people.

He brings himself out of the back seat and sits down onto the front seat and lights a cigarette. His little boy is standing straight up on the top of a dome of monkey bars. He hasn't spoken to him in years, but sees him 5 times a week at 9:45 and 2:15 PM. Some days it's kickball and others it's the dome of steel. Either one, his kid was clearly king. It makes him remember when he was king...that very short period of time that he ruled the entire world.


He sat in the oval office and controlled whether a nation would recover or decay. The earth was at his fingertips. He thought at the time that he wanted this power, but when his wife left him during his second term, reality set in deep inside. He started smoking weed in the presidential garden. He did so without regard to anyone that may be watching. He got drunk and made a state of the union speech using a made up language that no one understood. This was his last term and he just didn't care anymore. He had lost everything. His wife had left 2 years after his kids gave up on him and wrote tell all books about him. He was shamed, damned to serve his final year as commander of the world and go off into oblivion. That was when his maid got pregnant with his child. He knew it was his because he never let anyone leave him. He paid them more money to stay and ease the loneliness.

Now he sits and watches his child play in the park of a low income community. No one is calling him for speeches or stamps of approval. No one cares whether he lives or dies anymore. If he is mentioned anywhere, it is accompanied with a joke at his expense...and he deserves it. He is the "Trailer Park President" the "Black Eye of the American Electoral College." He was President Duncan, now he is "Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts." The laughing stock of the entire world. This is why he awakens to the sound of swing sets and not the radio.

His bottle of the cheapest vodka available sits under his foot as he rolls it back and forth on the floor until the bell rings and he gets to watch his son walk back into school and out of his life until 2:15 when he will barely recognize him due to a new bottle of the cheapest vodka available.

He sits and watches the doors close and the field go silent. He begins to figure out a way to get the 2 dollars he needs for a new bottle, but is interrupted by the young guy walking toward the doors of the building his kid is about to learn mathematics in. This guy doesn't look official and surely is holding something under his jacket. President Drunkin Dunkin opens the car door and runs as fast as an intoxicated man could be expected to run and swings open the door of the school exposing himself to a very angry teenager with a very deadly gun. They lock eyes for a moment of understanding and the kid fires a round into the stomach of President Shamed Duncan, then turned toward his son's classroom. Duncan pushes forward toward the kid, making noise that would both distract and agitate the gunman. Another bullet into the shoulder. Another into the abdomen. Duncan kept coming. He kept walking until he put his hands on the shooter breaking his neck with the last amount of strength left, then crumbling to the ground in death.

No one called him "Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts again." No one called him anything but a national hero.


Thanks for reading...Z