I told dad a story about the kind of everlasting connection you can have with another. Told him about how it can happen unsought for and unexpected but he didn’t answer.
Not that I expected him to because I was standing next to his grave, hoping I wasn’t accidentally standing on his head.
Granted, I can remember standing on virtually every part of his body at one time or another, just as my own children have done with me.
It is part of being a dad and if you are lucky the kids don’t stand softer and more delicate regions once they past three or four.
When the old man didn’t answer or ask any questions I told him I was going to follow his and grandpa’s advice of playing out the hand.
“Not going to fold dad or try to bluff my way through this one. I am going to play the damn hand, dance in the fire or walk to the end of the rainbow. G-d help the fucking leprechaun if he gets in my way because I have to know.”
I thought about bringing a bottle with me like you see in some movies. Thought about whether I would bring one glass or two and wondered if I ought to spill out a couple of drops.
Seemed kind of silly to waste good booze on him if he couldn’t appreciate it, especially since I know what he would say.
Given that I drove their alone I opted not to include a traveling bar so that I would have no issues with leaving beyond the desire of digging him up and confirming he was really in there.
I told him that too.
Told him I knew it was ridiculous and asked if he heard the fight that took place just before the funeral. Said he ought to thank his eldest daughter for making it easy for me not to have to unleash the Kraken.
That is only partly tongue-in-cheek because given the circumstances I want to say I would have been the kind and gentle man I always am, but maybe that is nonsense.
There have been moments where I take no prisoners and salt the earth in front of and behind me.
But it didn’t happen and I am fortunate to never wonder what I might have done.
Still it reminds me of conversations he and I had about what we are willing to do and are capable of. There isn’t any doubt in my head about either.
He trained me to do what was required and I learned it well and added my own twist to it because life is too short.
Every time I put that damn mask on and prepare to go under I think about a couple of things and ask myself if I have any questions.
I see the same face and have the same idea and so I go forward because that fucking leprechaun owes me answers.
There is a very short list of people I am willing to drink heavily with.
Some of it is because I drank enough for a lifetime when I was younger and rarely feel the need to drink because I wish to escape.
Now I drink because I enjoy a particular type of alcohol or cocktail and that is enough for me, but since someone asked me about getting drunk it got me thinking.
Made me realize how differently I view it and kind of made me laugh because it would be sad to say I see it the same way I did 25 or 30 years ago.
It’s not just because the day after is harder either, I don’t need any help in being unfiltered.
So I suppose you could say I am aware of how it could loosen my tongue and that is another reason why I would stay away. I am not interested in sharing all of me that way with but a few…maybe.
The cold weather has me thinking about hot tubs and people who ought to join me in one because it would be a good place for conversation.
Maybe one day.
One of the guys asked me about a conversation we had, “Is it three weeks or 30 years ago?”
“Do you mean the one where you asked me what I thought about the tall brunette with the long legs and dark hair?”
“Probably both. Some things don’t change and if we are being honest it is more than 30 years.”
“Fuck, we’re old.”
“Yeah, we’re getting there for sure. Life is a little bit different.”
The banter continues and we reminisce about things.
“Did you ever tell her?”
I laugh and say I might have shared the generalities of life there.
He smiles and I tell him the key to all this is the locked in a closet or marooned on an island theory.
“What is with you and that goofy theory?”
I laugh again and tell him the idea is simple.
“Let’s say you had lunch 2.5 weeks ago with someone you once knew and discovered you could pick right up where you left off. You would be a fool to ignore that wouldn’t you. That is magic and not everyone gets that.”
He tells me I am romantic and asks if I’ll kiss him under the moon or wait on the baseball diamond for him.
“Brother, you’re lucky this is over the phone or I’d slip you something or maybe just help you slip.”
He laughs again and we get wrapped up in a conversation about when we think we’ll be able to retire.
“You know that the original tall brunette from college is probably closer to 60 than 50 now. Hell, she might be a retired grandmother.”
“Wilner, why would you ruin my mental image of her?”
“Don’t worry, I am going to blog about this and make you sound extra shallow you old bastard.”
He tells me I am the sort of friend every man needs…to stay away from.
We both laugh and take two minutes to ask if the kids are doing ok and than we hang up.
I tell dad I’ll be back but I don’t know exactly when it will be.
“These one sided conversations are getting old but I guess I can’t win this particular fight with you can I? I am going to push hard on some of these things. Going to move heaven and earth if need be cuz I can’t see any other way to go.
All I can promise is to follow through as I said I would and to do my best even when it feels like I can’t take another step.
I wish that were hyperbole dad, but it is not. I am who I am and that has to be ok.”