Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#1 Pals

Life is a strange little journey.

At first you're overwhelmed by every little thing. Whether its who pushed you down on the playground, who made fun of you in the hallway of your school (or who you made fun of, in that same hallway) or who didn't choose to go to a movie with you (when you FINALLY have that car and that ability to GO). You're awash with ever single decision, every single consequence & every little outcome. It's overwhelming. You'll think "WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THIS THING CALLED LIFE?!?!"

Life is a strange little journey.

None of that matters though. Not really.

No matter how many times you're pushed down on the playground and no matter how many times you push someone else down. No matter who makes fun of you in a hallway full of your peers & no matter who you make fun of in that same hallway. No matter who goes to a movie and who does not. It doesn't matter. Sure, you'll remember everything, Everything, but it doesn't matter.

Not like you think, at least.

Life is a strange little journey.

You're going to grow and you're going to experience every tiny, ever so little, facet of this human condition, as we know it, that we have honed to perfection. Whether it be embellishment, indulgence, persecution, praise, violence, passivity, apathy, trust, betrayal, hatred, love, falsities and even, on occasion, truth.

It happens. ;) Not often... but it happens.

Payton, when you were 3 years old and you asked me about the stars and the planets and how they came to be, you curled your lip and looked at me as if I were an alien when I told you what I knew.

Please... Please... Please... keep that hesitance. Keep that skepticism. Daddy doesn't know everything. He never did. But he knows what he believes he knows. And that is what he told you. You have the inquisitive nature of a question mark. I know you want to know everything. I know you will always look for it. Keep looking. Always keep looking. You have a passion for understanding the complex things that I wish I had when I was your size. Your strength was born of intuition and acceptance, layered with a wee bit of "I'm Callin' Bullshit on This'.

Cayden, you're as patient as a caterpillar. I only thought I had patience. I was wrong. You're better than Me, hell, you're better than Job (and we both know what I think about that little story).

Use that, Son. Use that. Don't let it use you, though. A Man can wait his life away if he isn't careful.

You have always wanted to understand how things work. Why they click and clack as they do. Embrace that feature of yourself. Your strength was born of curiosity & perseverance. You were born in a bubble, as it were, but you did not stay there. You tore it wide open. Just ask the nurses.

They charged us for that. I'm just saying.

Life is a strange little journey.

I'll leave you with this little gem that my 92 year old Grandmother once told me.

"As far as I'm concerned the only thing that sticks around longer than People wanting your money or Death itself wanting your body are the Pals that sit beside you the entire time... waiting on the other two to show their cards."

You see, she was right. I still have have Chappy. I still have Sature. I still have Preppie. I still have Pooter. I still have Squirrel. Through everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, they are still there. Not because they have to be but because they choose to be. That's a very powerful thing.

Now you know why Pals matter to your old man.

Now you know why I hope they eventually matter to you too.

I've got nothing else worth listening to.

Well... I might have one thing left worth listening to.


I am Me, as it were. ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#2 Goodness


That's what defined our day in the eve of its departure.

I sat and watched you two try to gather those insects for the better part of an hour. Running around, with & into each other until the dusk that settled around all of us could not discern to me who was who and who was not.

That was Goodness to me.

I've written these letters for a reason. Every single one has something you'll eventually want to know I said. Now, what I've said may not always be what you will eventually want to hear from me, but that's how you learn where the two sentiments differ.

Now I want to tell you a story.

A long time ago I hated a boy. I hated him with all of me. His name was Jerry. I hated his name, his face & his existence. I hated. Not because he'd done anything to me but because I was told that's what I should feel.

I hated him because my Mom told me he was "no good" and that I shouldn't "hang around" someone "like him".

In school we'd always been pals. He'd been held back a year. He was older. We played on the playground together in elementary school. Jerry always had dirty clothes. I didn't care. He was a great kickball partner. He was awesome at duck duck goose. He was my friend. He laughed a lot.

One day my Mom told me I shouldn't be friends with him. She told me he was "Bad news".

Mom didn't know Jerry. But she was forewarned about him from other Parents. She was just trying to make sure I didn't get in with the wrong crowd, as it were.

When she and I discuss it now, I see her countenance fade. I know it bothers her.

I don't recall him in middle school. I think he dropped out in High School.

One night in 2009, while perusing news about my hometown, I happened to stumble upon this...

I had not seen his face in over 20 years.

The man who defended his home that night goes to your Gammy's church. He is a good Man. Your Gammy is my Mom, as you know.

I often wonder what would have happened if I'd been allowed to be friends with Jerry. Would he still be here? Would I? Would none of that matter?

These are the things your Dad thinks about.

I think Goodness, like many things, is relative. I think it has always been so & I believe it will always remain so, wearing a shawl of subjectivity as it goes. I think if it were able to give its own definition, it would say...

"I'm just a kid trying to catch fireflies at dusk with a bunch of other kids. Figure out which one I am."

Because if you can... you are Goodness.

And much better than Me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


You have one life. Just one.

Whether you clutter the closet of that life with hopeful gifts of your chosen religion, whether you scatter your pride with those indigenous wares you assume your good deeds will reward you with or whether you let all of that bullshit go... is up to You.

In the end, we all find ourselves at the same depot. That place that has a sign that reads "From Here On... Good Luck".

What defines you has never been what you've done. What defines you has always been who you are after doing the things you've done.

The only judge in that courtroom is You. So I want to ask you who you are. Who are You... really?

I want to know the answer to that question. I desperately want to know.

Did you give up on those moments when you didn't have to? Did you stomp through the grits of someone who was only trying to serve you breakfast? Did you reach out a hand only to have it severed? Did you never reach out a hand to begin with? Did you look up instead of down? Did you do the best you could for you, for those around you & for those you don't even know... yet? Even when the outcome wasn't fair, all things considered?

You wear my Last Name. These questions matter to Me.

The organ in your skull needs to be taken for a walk on occasion.

I'll always be with you. Simply because you know me.

Don't let that picture define you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


<No Picture Necessary>

This is one of the last letters. We're getting into the final stretch, as it were. I've told you everything you'll ever need to know. Mostly.

I could convey to you, until the end of time, my observations, my explanations & my absolution. That would never solve a damn thing for You, though.

You have to find your own way. You have to survive your own trials. You have to wander out of your own wilderness. That is the nature of life. That is how it is lived.

You're going to love so much that it hurts. You're going to lose so much that it kills.

Keep Breathing.

There will be days when the world around you is yellow and full, robust and hopeful. Those are good days. There will also be days when the world around you is dull and blank, bland and as gray as gray can be. Those are good days as well, though. Trust Me.

You see, you have the greatest ability anyone or anything has ever had. Choice.

Perception and action have always been Choices.

Employ that ability within every endeavor you might undertake. Every single one. From "What am I going to eat tonight?" to "How can I save Humanity?".

It all comes down to Choice. It always has. It always will.

You can do anything. Anything.

Choose To Do Something.

One night, a long time ago, I opened doors leading into your rooms. I looked at you P and I pulled up your covers because I worried that you would get cold. I looked at you C and I put you back in your bed, because you were sleeping half in and half out. Boys... what the hell.

That's what a Daddy Does.

I love you more than I have words.


Monday, July 23, 2012


A wiser man than I once described the heavenly body in the picture above far more eloquently & unequivocally than I could ever dream. Mind you, he never ascribed it to a heaven and most certainly did not call it a body. He merely spoke the truth about a dot, once upon a time. The picture his words captioned was taken from so much farther away & so, in kind, seems that much more impressive by its very token. If you wish to find that picture, then go do so. Comprehend what you see. That is not the point of this letter, though.

"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

-Carl Sagan

You, admittedly, have no idea who Carl Sagan is, was or will eventually become. I would challenge you to find out each of those outcomes. Make haste in that endeavor. Good luck with the latter of the three as that has yet to be determined... but I have Hope. ;)

I don't want you to wish on shooting stars. I want you to know what meteors are.

There's greater magic to be found there.

Oh, by the way. This is the the marble he was talking about.

See it yet? Do you see You yet?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Middle Name

When I found out that the first child I was to Father was to be a Girl... I honestly thought "Who in the hell did I piss off in a past life?!". My second thought was something along the lines of "Oh Shit. What am I supposed to do? I don't even understand her Mother. How am I supposed to survive in a house with two females? They're so complicated. They're borderline insane...

I do not understand these creatures. I do not understand them at all. I do not understand them in the Summer. I do not understand them in the Fall. I do not understand them in the Morning. I do not understand them at Night. I do not understand them when they won't admit they're wrong. I do not understand them when they won't admit I'm right!".

OK, perhaps there wasn't such a Dr. Seuss ring to my thoughts but that's how I remember it.

Boy, was I a schmuck.

I haven't the words to describe how absolutely, unequivocally, all kidding aside, honest to goodness, AMAZING you were to me (and still are, don't worry!).

But, this isn't a letter about that.

This is a letter about a name.

About three years before you were born there was an accident in our County. It was a school bus accident. It was a school bus that was carrying 7 small elementary school children to the school that both you and your brother now attend. The school where your mother, at the time, was just beginning her own career. As you well know, she's still there. Also, as you well know, that little park in front of the school is called a Memorial Park for a reason.

On that fateful spring day in March of 2000, the sun was out, the air was crisp but warm & I was toiling away at the White House on the hill doing the things that my job entailed. Your mother was, I'm sure, bustling around her classroom in preparation for the day's upcoming classwork. Somewhere a few miles northeast of your Mom, a bus driver was driving a bus carrying a handful of children properly strapped in with their seat belts.

Several minutes before the accident the bus had stopped for the last student on that road. Her name was Kayla Silvers. She was 6 years old. Her Daddy waited with her at the end of the driveway and made sure she safely got aboard. He then waved, turned around and walked back to the house.

Several minutes later, absentmindedly perhaps, the bus driver didn't stop at the rail road crossing. Instead, she slowly began crossing it, oblivious to the 193 ton, 33 car freight train that was barreling down, horn blaring, just over 1000 feet away.

The impact was so violent that it tore the bus from its frame and carried it far down the railroad tracks.

Kayla Silvers' Daddy heard the accident.

He ran down the road and found his little baby girl, lifeless. He cradled her broken body in his arms and he did what any man would do. He wept and he prayed for anyone listening to help. He never put her down. He only let her go when an EMT finally had to tell him the worst news a Daddy could ever hear.

Two other children eventually wandered into that endless sleep due to that accident.

Almost 3 years later, to the day, your mom and I first began discussing having children. She wanted a girl. I was convinced it would be a boy. A month or two later we began trying and before we knew it... you were on your way.

As we thought about names, we could never agree on the middle one. Nothing really fit.

One night, rather accidentally, I stumbled across an older news story about that moment and I thought about Kayla Silvers & her Daddy. I thought about how he would never get to watch her grow up (As I Have). He would never see her dancing in the rain or catching fireflies in a mason jar (As I Have). How he would never be able to tuck her in at night or rush to her aid when nightmares rattled her little body from sleep (As I Have). How he would never get those things... again. As I Do.

I wept. You have no idea.

That is how you got your Middle Name.

I Love You.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Me: P, how is that keyboard working out?

P: I love it, Daddy.

Me: I hope you use it to find your notes. So you can sing in your key.

P: I do Daddy. I press one thing and sing that sound. I can do it for all of them.

Me: Good, Baby. I think it will help you find your songs.

P: Daddy, do you wanna know what my dream is?

Me: What, frog?

P: I wanna be on the radio & sing in Times Square.

Me: *blink*


Me: Then Do It, Darlin'.


C: Hey Daddy. Thank you for the guns.

Me: You're welcome, Buddy. Every boy needs a set of pistols to fend off the bad guys. Do they pop when you pull the trigger? Are you getting rid of the bad guys?

C: Yep. But there's a problem.

Me: There is? What's the problem?

C: I wanna be the guy that takes the money.

Me: You wanna be the what?

C: The Outraw?

Me: You wanna be the Outlaw?

C: Yea! The one that robs the banks!

Me:... *wipes tear*... then you're gonna need a black cowboy hat and a good set of spurs. I'll find them for you, son.

C:  That's Daddy!


Conversations, however peculiar, have shaped our world.

Keep having them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Your Dad, Part II

P, I know you're starting to write your own songs now. I've saved ever single bit of lyrical content you've written. Even the ones that span multiple pages, are written in purple magic marker & have unicorns drawn in their corners (my favorite, I might add). You keep doing that.

I hope the new keyboard will help you find different instruments, different avenues & ultimately, a different muse with which to create your prodigies.

You keep writing your songs as long as you have the mind to imagine them. Your Dad still does. Even when he ignores the chairs in the room.

P.S. Remember what I said about playing with picks... they're overrated. You have five individual fingers. Put them to use on occasion. ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I want to tell you about Love.

It is unlike everything you have ever believed it to be. It is unlike the movies that portray it, the books that wandered within it & the stories reminisced of it by those you trust. It is unlike all of those venues.

I understand that is a bold statement but I promise you, I Promise You, it is the truest statement I have ever known.

Love is not magical. It is not a Fairy Tale. It is Better than that.

Love does not happen in an instant. There is no First Sight. Love is like the sediment that builds up the banks of a small creek, a wide river or the oceans themselves. It takes far longer than the time you have to offer, but it works far quicker when you're not paying attention.

Love is not having to say a word and knowing that being silent is OK. Love is a small smile when everyone else is showing their teeth. Love is not hope, it's hoping. Love is shitting with the bathroom door ajar... and laughing about the sounds. Hey, that's just the truth.

Love Happens... but it does not, has never & will never just Happen.

My hope for you is that one day you can find someone who hates your flaws and yet adores the fact that you have them. The Loving is easy... the Living with it is the hard part.

Your eyes will always tell the truths your mouth hasn't learned to convey.

Find your mirror when you're ready. Love the reflection.

And if they make funny faces at you.. You Win.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Get Lost Again

I want to tell you about California.

California was dropped off somewhere near the end of the road about 11 months ago. She was frail, lost & in desperate need of hope. I fully understood her plight.

She wandered up out of the dark on a Tuesday night. She was crying. I said hello. She wrapped herself around my legs in quite the eternal fashion. That's just what cats do. I gave her milk (it's all I had). She adored it. The next day, I gave her food. She adored that. The next day, she was a part of our Family.

You've seen her plenty of times lately. She allows you to pick her up, snuggle her & drop her from heights that I don't agree with, yet she never complains. Well, except when you squeeze her tail and she pops you in the head (no claws, might I add). Frankly, you deserve it when that happens. But back to my point. Do you know why she stays?

Do you have any idea?

It's because she trusts that we care. It's because she found a home. It's because she is comfortable.

Cali was lucky. One day, you might not be. So what do you do should you wander up out of the dark on a Tuesday, crying & completely lost... only to find that your finder cannot or will not give you comfort, safety or the feeling of a family?

Get Lost Again.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


There are moments in the still quiet of these summer evenings when I just enjoy breathing. When the sun has set, when the fireflies have found contentment in their ever unending pursuit of companionship & when the world, as I know it here in this little corner, finally learns how to settle itself.

These moments are my ever after. These moments are when I stop swimming in the undertow. Sometimes I sink. Sometimes I am full and fat and hover far above the water. Ultimately though, I always end up just floating on the surface.

Be a rock when you need to sink. Be a bubble when you need to hover. Be driftwood in between.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another Day

I want to tell you a secret.

I would like to say it is the secret to end all secrets, that of life, but I'm neither bold nor brilliant enough to boast in such a manner.

The fact that today, right at this moment, I blink & still breath proves the fact that I have found 37 years on this planet intriguing, intoxicating, infuriating & ultimately, thus far, unending. My choices have not yet killed me, my path has not yet laid me down & my worth has not yet been judged in whole.

We'll leave those absolutes for another day.

I don't want you to take things too seriously. By things, I mean all things. The human brain has an infinite capacity to learn. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it grows. That just means it "knows". What you feed it dictates how big, strong, wise, tough and/or weak it can become. But "knowing" something has never, will never & can never be absolutely true. I say this because if you take things too seriously, eventually you'll fill the extra room above the garage of your brain with junk that you never wanted to own & can never sell.

At its best, life is laughable. At its worst, it's misery. Understand what that means.

You weren't put here to fulfill a reason. You weren't put here to overcome any obstacle. You weren't put here to achieve any thing. You weren't put here at all. You just happened to get to Be Here.

So while you're here...

Sit in the dark more often than you do in the light. It will give you an entirely different perspective on what your eyes take for granted. See people for who they are and not what you've expected them to be. Take compliments with humility & take criticism equally as such. Perspective has driven our species the entire time, as it were. It's built nations and it's torn them down. Ironically, it has always remained after.

Love with everything inside of you until you feel as if you'll burst. Don't worry about reciprocation. One day you'll realize that reciprocation never mattered nearly as much as you assumed it did.

Open a door for a stranger. Not because you expect them to thank you but because you expected them to pass through a door that you happened to reach first. Do it with honesty. Do it because you can.

Stop worrying. It changes nothing.

Live your life with integrity. Own up to your fuck ups. Be comfortable in your own human skin. We are not perfect, we never will be & our actions will always define those truths. Never be ashamed of what you tried to do, be or become, regardless of the path you take in discovering those roads.

Because all paths end up being roads. Understand what that means as well.

Now, about my secret...

I think I'll save it for another day.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Post Title Here

Unfortunately, you'll probably live the majority of your lives being told that we, as a species, are full of difference. See, you'll be influenced by the people you encounter, the people you hear & most importantly, the people you trust. You'll be segregated by color, by ideology, by religious beliefs, by community & by fear. Those are traits you've yet to fully acquire but they are waiting in the wings. Those traits will desire you because your influences will require you to desire them. And you will desire them... for a season.

And no longer than that season, I hope above all hope.

We are all different. That is a fact. But we are not full of difference.

See that. In everyone you encounter, everyone you hear & everyone you trust. See that. You'll find a way past color, beyond ideology, through religion, around community & over fear. See that. Don't just look at it. See it.

Looking never let's you see.

We'll figure this world out yet... I promise.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I was lucky enough to have the rare privilege of experiencing something I'd experienced only once before in this life, tonight.

After an exhaustive evening of re-inflating the pool (I'm a Man... I refuse on general principle to follow any given instructions... hence yesterday's completely unexpected deflation of said procurement), patiently waiting for the low pressure spigot (I prefer "spicket" but whatever) to finally supply you two impatient, and supposedly sentient, beings with the liquid that you so desired in said containment container & enduring splash after splash (all unwarranted, unwelcome & most importantly, unexpected)... I am glad to say this sentence and this evening in general ended gloriously.

Let me frame it for you.

It's 10:20 PM. The fireflies are still out, oddly, and we're laying on our backs in the cool grass of an early summer June night. The sky has a few rogue clouds that begrudgingly wander by but for the most part it's wide open, unending and willing to expose itself.

The youngest of you has given up the collective ghost and wrapped his little 6 year old body into a convenient ball. The stray cat that once decided we were as good a place as any to squat, has taken up what must be (in her mind) the most dedicated of positions between said 6 year old and the 36 year old male who helped that very 6 year old "be".

The oldest of you is oblivious to all of this of course. She's still pointing out feint stars her Father doesn't actually know the names of and then scowling at him, in what can only be described as condescending judgement, when he invents (ie. Lies) their names and generally just makes shit up.

That's when the meteor happened.

In one glorious and unexpected moment, the oldest of you pushed (with valiant intent, might I add) against my chest, lower intestines, stomach & various other organs I probably need, headstrong into a standing position atop of my pelvic bone (and those various amenities that, for the most part, inhabit said region).

Arm outstretched, finger painting the trail of a little space rock that wandered too close, you exclaimed boldly & with complete absolution "LOOK DAD!".

I tried. The tears were making things blurry to be honest.

I like shooting stars too, baby girl. I do. I saw a bunch at that moment.

Of course that animated the wayward traveler that we like to call "Cali" who proceeded to invade the younger being's back & my arm pit with her (I just LOVE YOU evolution) claws.

Calamity. Just... Calamity.

I should really get to the point of this shouldn't I?

Once the excitement had died down and the younger of you two had returned to his humanityball pose, we settled once again into what can only be described as, well frankly, my telling you half-truths about the individual stars of which you inquired. And, for the record, I personally think "Michaelonia" or... "Paytonarnias" or... "Caydadon" are GREAT names for stars. I may concede "Michaelonia" sounds more like a disease but I digress. I thought the other two names were hard core.

I did my best, though, and I think I succeeded.

Want to know how I know?

Because after a little while, I felt the rhythm of your little body equalize. You hadn't fallen asleep on my chest while looking at the nighttime sky since you were around 4 years old.

You did tonight though... four years later.

I hope you remember this twice one day.

You & your Brother will never know how much I love picking you up and carrying you inside while you're sleeping.

It's puts all three D's in Daddy.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I have lived a random life.

I have not contributed to my society in any notable way and I have not taken away from it in the same fashion. I have simply been around. That encompasses the majority of us, I think. We're always around.

I've lived my life with that great landscape in mind. Judging myself on what I have or have not done to help the greater picture, the greater cumulative or even the greater collective of mouth breathers roaming too & fro. I've always been that silent twig who has a leaf or two that waddles in the wind while it itself remains unmoving.

I knew all along that the greater picture, the greater cumulative & all of those mouth breathers never disturbed their sleep with my own worry, yet I always disturbed my own with theirs. I knew the definition of insignificance. The greater picture never asked for my brush. The greater cumulative shunned the idea of adding another obscure addition to its fold. The greater collective marched headstrong on, believing fully & with passion, in what the human being next to them shouted louder.

I found my solace in that acceptance, by the way. That was my peace.

My license plate has meaning. I'm just waiting to go home. :)

You won't understand this letter now. You will one day. I have that much faith in your pictured, cumulative & collective brains.

Never be afraid to live outside of the box. Never, ever, fear being in the fields.

It is where we grow.

We take pretty pictures in a cumulative fashion & we collectively overcome and prosper on our own... individually. We have no other choice at the end of the day.

Talk Hard, My Brood. Don't be afraid of feeling alien.

We All Are.

And All is Well.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I have been looking forward to a certain day for almost four years.

My patience first began in August of 2008. That was the day that your Mother chose to leave. That was the day when a home became a house and rooms became cells. That was the day when I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that life as I knew it would never again be the same.

The first few months were the greater part of one of those dreams you have in REM sleep. Vivid, poignant, impressionistic & not nearly as brief as you'd think they would be. Just wandering, really. Wandering around a house that for one week you two would inhabit and the next week, you would not. Rinse, repeat. Over and over and over. I wandered that hall and your rooms every single night.

Never wander, by the way. Wandering is waiting. Waiting to find what is waiting to be found. There's entirely too much waiting involved in my opinion. Go, instead. Go with purpose and intent. Even if you don't actually know where you're going. Just make sure you never wander.

I knew it was over that day, by the way. I knew there was never any going back. Trust had been raped, spit upon & kicked in the ass. I knew I did not like your Mother for the human being she was. I also knew that she had her own reasons for not liking the human being that I was. Everything in life is subjective. The only problem with that is that we subject our thoughts solely on what we believe. That's where faith can often fail us. She was a Deep South social butterfly, I was an Appalachian hillbilly. It happens.

Let's fast forward.

On Saturday your Mother will marry that man that took my life. She will say I Do, again, in the same church she said those very words not 15 years ago. She will wear white again. I find that laughable, but necessary due to her religion... More importantly, though, he will be my children's step-father.

That is pain. That is hurt. That is life.

I want you to know something. I want you to know something about your Father, specifically

I am Glad for her. I hope she finds happiness. I hope she finds what she is looking for. I hope your lives, away from me when they are, are filled with goodness. Regardless of who fills the shoes I once put in that little bin beside the door.

I have been looking forward to a certain day for almost four years.

Saturday is that day.

I've been wandering too damn long now. So, thank you Christie. I wish you well.

Even if you are marrying a pudgy, greying, slightly obtuse looking individual who kind of walks pigeon toed & talks in a pitch that is entirely too lofty for a man whose nuts surely attempted to drop at some point. Wow, that was mean wasn't it? I apologize. Not really.

As for you two knucleheads... well... I can't wait to pick you up Sunday. I've missed you terribly. I love you tremendously.


P.S. I was only kidding with the snide comments about your soon to be step daddy. I'm sure he just walks that way because he chooses to...

... or not. ;) *waddle waddle waddle

At least now I can breath again.

And Amen. That's the last prayer I'll ever whisper.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I had an older gentleman come up to me today, rather abrupt & with intent, who asked me a very simple question.

"What's up with the hair?"

It was awkward. I was leaving a restaurant and just walking to a vehicle but this individual felt a compulsion to approach me and inquire about my own being, my own body & my own presence (if you'll permit me that).

It's an honest question, though. I acknowledged that fact. I try to acknowledge all facts. I do. I fail often but I try.

What's up with the hair?

He asked why it was "long". My answer was completely honest. "Because it grows". His retort, "Why don't you cut it?". My reply, "Why do you cut yours?". His reply "Because it looks better.".

Fair enough.

In all honestly, it was merely a simple, symbiotic thesis we were both shooting for. It isn't complicated at all. It's all about perception and how we like to lay our own perceptions upon those that we don't actually perceive (well, away from our own expectations). Or in other words... damn if we don't sleep better seeing people that look like us.

He was a nice man, though. I'll remember that about him.

I say all of this because I want you to try to see people with your eyes closed. I want you to hear them. Better yet, listen to them. Smell them. Taste them if you must. Be near them. But don't you ever look at them with expectation. Keep your eyes closed as long as you can.

They'll never live up to what you yourself haven't lived up to. You need to think about that.

They're not you and they never have been. You're not them and you never will be.

But you both Are.

You reckon it's the hair?

(Thank You, Tori.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

And That Means

The picture above is of a store. It's still there to this day. Granted, it has a paved parking lot, upgraded fixtures & what not now, but it's still there. I wish the aluminum shed that used to be there was, well, still there. It used to have a big "CN" on the front doors. I remember driving by it every night when I was 17. It's gone now. That's just how life goes.

Your Great Grandfather owned that store during what would turn out to be one of the most important moments of my future life.

You see, about 15 years after that picture was taken, your Great Grandfather bought that store. He had two daughters. Your Gammy & your great aunt Carolyn.

One of them ran off and eloped (I love my Aunt Carolyn). The other did not (I love my Mom).

I'm getting sidetracked.

One night, in the mid 60's, your Gammy was living above this store. By above, of course I mean the apartment on the second story. She lived there along with her Mother & Father. Back then Mom's & Dad's lived together willingly.

Let's fast forward to one Friday night on Route 11.

There is a restaurant/bar/damn near brothel, called "Watusy's" at the corner of Route 11 & Plantation Road. It used to be called the Harvest House. I think. I have no idea why I think that, though (literally, I don't recall what it was called).


Back to the point.

One night your Gammy decided to have dinner there and (that same damn night!) your Poppy decided to drink beer in the bar (you're finally catching on to the theme we like to call "Humanity", yes?). Now, the funny back story is that they had dated months before. Word on the street was that your Gammy had gotten pissed at your Poppy for some bullshit that boys do (we Do).

Needless to say, they ran into one another on the way to the bathroom. I cannot invent this. Believe me.

Long story short; your Gammy left her Date at their table & your Poppy left his Date at the bar... and they drove back to... you guessed it... that place in the picture.

Suffice it to say, both dates were pissed.

Women take scorning better than Men. At least in the interim. I'm guessing Poppy's date is very happy now. I honestly don't know.

What I DO know is that Gammy's date showed up (at that place in the picture) and threatened to whoop Poppy's ass. Knowing Poppy, that probably didn't sit well with him. I would imagine his inner banty rooster came out.

What's funny though... is that your Great Aunt Carolyn & her eloped hubby, your Great Uncle Non, were there.... by happenstance.

Thus, when Gammy's jaded date & all his buddies showed up to smack down your Poppy, well, your Poppy had back up.

But that never stopped your Poppy from walking out to the boy in question and saying (and I quote this because I've heard it 10,000 times growing up) "If she liked ya, she wouldn't be here with me, yea buckaroo?"

Yea. Buckaroo... *snort*. Kills me every time.

So thank Goodness for that night, that moment & all the shit that came down around it.

Hell, I wouldn't be here if it hadn't.

And that means...

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I know your Mom is inundating you with religion. I know she's making sure that ideology is pumped into your brain. I just want you to think about one simple thing.

If the God that your Mama prays to, worships & pretends to follow is all knowing, all seeing & all powerful... there's no way in that god's Hell that it can ever want for anything.

Including your soul.

Just Think.

It's the only weapon you'll ever have to fight off the monsters in the dark.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Up Here

There is a bend in the road about 8 miles away. It's a lazy bend. There are hardwoods & a steep slope to the left of the road. To the right, just a sagging valley, heavy with hay & jonquils, that rolls itself down to a stream that (I feel certain) is indifferent to what may find it from either side.

There is a small gravel alcove where you can park your vehicle. The cord grass hangs solemn over the edge of the asphalt & almost obedient near the graveled rock. They look like small parishioners simply worshiping your pause. The blades, I mean. The arrogance in me digs that... but the understanding in me finds what I dig insulting.

Tipped on the edge of a ridge, the wind finds its way to you, through you, around you and beyond you with an ease that only what cannot be seen, can see. I've always admired that about that little turn around.

We've been past that turn a time or two. Your little hands were always too busy pushing through the air outside of the rear windows to notice. Between you and I, I never realized my offspring were born with dolphins on their palms.

Maybe we all are.

Perhaps one day we'll pull off. Perhaps we'll grin at the grass, bow in acknowledgement & continue on our way. Perhaps we'll wander, not down through the field, but up through the hardwoods.

Perhaps we'll climb.

Perhaps we'll find the top of everything.

Maybe then we'll finally realize what's up here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Your Dad

I finally met the man that usurped our lives. The man that wrote a finer tuned line, a better collection of words & a greater delivery of syllables than I. I met him at a ball field, ironically enough.

You played a great game, C.

He was a bit pudgy. I found that amusing but I let it go. He was a bit shorter than me but I let that go too, most folks are. He was a bit quiet but so am I so I let that go as well. But, there was just one thing I couldn't get beyond...

He wasn't Me.

I suppose, in the end, that's all your Mama was looking for.

I've been looking for closure for 4 years. I finally found it on a ball field in Murray County, Ga.

Your Dad

Monday, February 20, 2012

Have you ever wondered what makes Me smile?

Snow. I love snow. Especially when it lets me work from home.

Your Poppy. He's subtle isn't he?

It knows everything is about to die... but the fact that everything is OK with that... is fantastic.

Screwing with a Co-worker's desk when they're out of the office. There's just something about pasting a Miley Cyrus or Twilight picture to their corner that just feels "Right".

When I think my team will win.

Hope at the end of the road.

Most of all... You.

Now you don't have to wonder what makes Me smile.

Monday, January 30, 2012


This life is made up of fools and philosophers and all sorts in between. Your Daddy is on that bell curve somewhere. Whether he's at the apex or on the fade isn't of consequence. He's on that curve. Just like you. Just like everyone else out there.

I see people worry over unnecessary things. All the time. I see them fret over happenstance & consequence. What's up with this cough? Why does my knee ache? Will I make that payment? Silly little things that only matter in the moment but never, ever, and will never, matter in the end.

Believe me.

The general consensus is that our "things" will get taken away. Our cars. Our lungs. Our Lives. Our Possessions. The constant threat of loss drives us in such a manner that we don't acquire that one little thing that is truly Free and Guaranteed.


I want you to do a fundamental thought project with me. I want you to imagine a box that holds all of those things that you hold dear. I want you to pretend to put them all in one secure container. All of your loved ones, all of your toys, all of those things that define how you see this world, how you interact in this world, how your world revolves around you. Stuff them all into that box. Your box.

Are they all in there? Is everything about you in that box?

Now look at that box.

Now blink.

Now that box is gone.

No, seriously. It's gone. Adios, see ya next year, gone.

What do you do now? What defines you now? What do you have to show for yourself now? Who are you now?

You do what you've always done, defined in the same way you always were, showing all you have as you've always tried & being who you've always been. Time gives you each of those luxuries. Nothing else. Nothing else & nothing more. Your box never really mattered.

All that really mattered was the amount of time you thought you owned it.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I think I've paid my dues. I hope I have. First world problems aside, they're all I've known so I'm comfortable in saying that.

I'm feeling strange tonight. My skin doesn't fit quite right. I know why and yet I want to say I don't know why.

I don't know what to make of this thing called "life". It's bizarre. It's a bit unsettling. I'm aware that the ever changing rules cannot apply and yet I try my best to apply them.

Sometimes I feel like the goldfish that you took out of the bowl. You didn't do it to watch it struggle, you just did it to watch it live. You had no idea that the act of taking it out of that bowl doomed it.

I just don't know what my bowl is. For the life of me, I don't know who took me out of the one I had.

Maybe it was Me.

I can betroth my experiences in this life to you but it will not change what you endure. It can only enhance your interpretation of endurance by way of what your old Man recalled at this moment in time, in this one place we inhabit.

People will forget what you said. They most certainly will eventually forget what you did. But I swear to you, above all, this one thing. They will never forget how you made them feel.

That's all they carry with them. That's every one's After.

This world is an inconvenient train station where we're all jostling for position on the platform. If I could give you any bit of sound advice it would be to not buy a ticket. Just hop the fence, blend in with the crowd & when no one is looking... hijack that son of a bitch.

Ride it to where the winds cannot recall your name. There you'll find freedom. There you'll find truth. There you'll find your own After. That's what we're all looking for... as it were.

And always Talk Hard.

Even in Bengali.