There are only so many windowsills we can chew on while waiting for our fathers and mothers to care about us. Walk a mile into the woods and find where the leaves placed themselves for us to turn over. -Walk back to the same sill twenty-five years later and ask yourself if you’d rather care about who you wanted to care about you, or if you’d like to again walk a mile into the woods to find a few more leaves.
The boy sat on the banking looking for trout in the brook. The earth, mixed with growing ferns, smelled of something he didn’t know. He wanted the trout to come from the shaded area so he could watch them. “It’s not possible to live in another mind.” The boy said out loud, not knowing what his father had meant. The boy promised himself to never slam the door and leave. His mother replied to no one, “It’s when you care for someone more than yourself.”
I remember telling her, “We’re dating now.”
She was drinking wine
I was drinking a Manhattan
in a restaurant over looking the common
in Mystic, Connecticut
I remember she stood to hug me
tears all over
clasping her hands over her mouth.
What kind of asshole was I?
We’re dating now?
I was lucky to be sitting with her
Lucky to even know her
I was that fucked up
I didn’t know how to love
I’m better at it now
Thanks to her
And I hope she
adores this poem-
Megan is the mother
of our son.
I love her
I splashed water from the bathroom sink onto my face and looked at my dripping curiosity. This is my third year as a father. Downstairs our son, Gavin, is running the pitter-patter pattern while yelling, ‘Oh No! The Dino’s a comin!’
Today we’ll drive to the White Mountains. We like old dirt roads that wind through the country side and give glimpses of lakes and mountain tops. We like to drive slowly, open the windows, and look for dinosaurs. These old roads are seldom traveled and when you’re on them they feel like they’re yours. Trees tower on both sides and the forest is so deep that it seems like there couldn’t possibly be an end to them; with that feeling comes thoughts that anything is possible, even finding a dinosaur.
We’ll most likely take my truck, where Gavin rides in the middle of the back seat. He sits up high because of his car seat and looks like a child-king. I’m fine with that. He’s the one child we have and we waited a long while to be gifted his presence. I laugh at people who try and determine our parenting style. All they need to do is ask. I’ll tell them, ‘Fucking awesome and nearly perfect.’ With a straight face. Hoping they piss me off.
After driving through the mountains we’ll eventually make our way into a small town and stop at a pub. I’ll order some kind of dark foaming beer, hopefully the foam will spill over the top of the glass and spill down the sides. We’ll order Gavin french fries with vinegar (he loves that stuff) and chicken nuggets and Megan will order anything her heart desires for the rest of her life.
I’ll scan the pub for people of passion. Let there be a few. Silent is the day when eyes cast shadows, drooping and lowering into their drink without thought. That is not the society to be. Have your pints, raise your whiskey, cheers the one next to you and talk about what moves you. Talk about why your day fetched its morning to deliver your afternoon. Hell, talk politics! Do it! Oh, I have…and will continue to. I find airing out differences over a pint of beer at a pub to be aggressively healthy; because how the hell do you find health with laziness? I think we’ve been lied to. Over and over. I see the lies floating out of mouths, especially the talking heads on TV, somehow those same lies find new housing and eventually find their way to me in person, and I put them where they belong, under my boot.
But don’t mind me. I was born with a bit too much energy. A bit too much passion. We’ll see what today brings. If it isn’t much, I’ll make it into something much more.
Cheers and Happy Father’s day to you all. Even the Mammas because, well without you…
His father wore holes
Though he couldn’t see them
He knew them
They bled white and black spots
He watched the spots trickle then flow
all the way to the floor where the
floor would tilt toward himself
but then he’d open his eyes and see
that the blood was red again
He thought anyway that it was red again
He thought much then
Especially about his father and
But he didn’t need to now
Now he thinks about where
he might find his first hole
and what might come out
Maybe it wouldn’t happen
Maybe he’d not bleed at all
It took two and a half years
for me to want to level another parent.
It happened in the suction ball room
at the Children’s Museum in Portland.
Gavin didn’t wait in line.
Instead, he stood directly next to a girl his age
and attempted to share the space.
I immediately intervened.
I told Gavin he needed to wait for his turn
and asked him to apologize to the girl.
Gavin is two and a half. He handled it well.
I stood, turned, and walked away.
The girl’s father walked toward the already handled situation.
I smiled and said hello.
He stared at me and ignored my hello.
But what really pissed me off
was that he attempted to stare me down.
At a Children’s Museum.
I changed my face.
I know this won’t be the last time.
It’s the middle of the night
A small something is breathing
Onto my neck
He’s on my pillow
And his forehead is lightly
pressed against my neck
Megan must have brought
Him in with us
into a bed and
Loves to get up and play
In his room
He’s such a good
He climbs into the
Rocking chair and rocks
Himself back to sleep
But for now
He’s breathing on my neck
And I’m awake writing this
Anxiety had me up early this morning. Megan took the day off. I went downstairs, made coffee, ignored my chest, thought about my chest, picked up the living room where Gavin stores all of his toys, vacuumed, started the dish washer, did 131 jumping jacks, stretched, and indoor walked for 30 fucking minutes.
Anxiety has no schedule. I try and manage it by putting it back into its place by staying busy and thinking. I try not to think because that’s the problem. So half my plan is solid nearly all the time. All joking aside, I haven’t dealt with this serious of an anxiety attack in a long, long while. Megan took the day off for a follow up appointment with the doctor. When I found Megan bleeding to death on the bathroom floor I was flat lined emotionally. I have been for weeks. Unfortunately emotion has a way of unfolding itself if you’ve kept it hidden.
So I’m vacuuming this morning and I’m indoor walking and I’m drinking my coffee and I’m thinking when I realized what’s really the root of this particular anxiety attack. I’m going to miss Megan. She leaves on Sunday morning. Super Bowl Sunday Morning. We are both football fans. Football Sunday is a big family day for us. She’s leaving in the morning and will be gone until the following Sunday. Megan works her ass off and has created an amazing career and at times, needs to be gone. Gavin sometimes walks to the door and tries to open the door asking for Mommy. Try that one on for size knowing he nearly lost her for ever.
‘She was 83. She had three more days. They told her that. We had just left the cancer center.’
It was cold. We stood next to the dumpster. I heard squirrels.
‘Yeaaah, She told me one thing. Only one thing during our drive from the cancer center to her home.’
The squirrels rattled on. Uncaring.
I raised my head with understanding. Trying not to look at any one of the squirrels.
‘I remember it like it was yesterday. I tell you. Don’t blink. I know you watch your son all day. I see you with him and how busy you are. But don’t blink. It’ll all be over. Time just goes by and I’m a lot older than you. I look at my hands and I don’t know who’s hands they are.’
He used the word just. Where are the squirrels.
‘My mother said, “It happens so fast.” And that’s all she said. For the entire drive. She knew she was gone. I guess after someone know’s they are gone there’s not much to say.’
‘Time is a funny thing.’ I said, ‘It’s not real. We created it to fit out personalities. When you rock your infant, who has a double ear infection and croup with a fever while he’s screaming for an hour, you pray to God to help him feel less pain. That time is standing still. That time you’ll remember and it’ll never stop. No. Time to me is a funny thing. Light is not straight. You know this.’
The men next to the dumpster laughed.
‘So anyway, Matt, my mother was dying and I was driving her back from the clinic. She had only three days left on this Earth.’