He asked if he should say Mazal Tov on my divorce and I didn’t respond so he told me he didn’t mean to upset me.
“I guess you are living in the Valley again, huh.”
My lack of facial expression or response must have made him uncomfortable so he kept babbling at me, said we ought to get together and that he hoped life would get better.
That was in 2014 after my first tour in Texas.
Sometime afterwards he found himself on the other team at the gym and accused me of playing dirty because I was angry and divorced.
I didn’t try to correct anything he said because he was right about one thing, I was angry.
I abused him a little bit on the court, took advantage of size and strength and beat him up a little bit because I could and because I was irritated he thought he could speak as he did.
Time passed and I moved back to Texas and we didn’t see each other but I heard lots of things from other people about my personal life and got asked lots of questions.
I rarely answered and when I did I often made up crazy stories about what I was doing and where. I figured if they were dumb enough to buy that kind of bullshit I was dumb enough to feed them.
Eventually a few asked if I would tell them what was really going on and I answered some, but usually responded with if you have to ask you don’t deserve to know.
The ophthalmologist asked me if there was a reason I had come to see him.
“I can’t see.”
“Your eye exam makes me believe that. I don’t know how you passed your driver’s test.”
“When my eyes aren’t dry it is not much of an issue. I see fine.
“They are ridiculously dry now. If that doesn’t change I am going to put you on meds.”
“Something like that.”
“Do I need to worry about that cataract now?”
“No, but you need to get into better shape or you’ll have issues.”
“I already have issues, that is why I am here. To address them with a guy whose bedside manner is best described as cactus like.”
“You calling me a prick?”
“No, but prickly is one possibility.”
“Well, let’s set you up for a return in three months. Drink more water, it helps.”
The more water and other advice worked really well until recently and then the crap in the air caught up with me and my eyes decided they needed constant flushing and multiple showers.
They feel like a desert in the morning, it is fun getting older.
We’ll give the doc a second visit and see if he comes up with solutions and then we’ll continue or go elsewhere.
Two hours on the soccer field watching the teenage girl play were a mix of pain and pleasure.
It was fun watching her run, but the dry eyes didn’t make it easy. Dumped buckets of lubricant eye drops in the eyes, drank lots of water and then wondered if the pictures made me look like a junky.
Sort of cared and sort of didn’t.
Watched videos of rocket attacks upon Israel and figured dealing with my eyes is a whole lot easier than running for bomb shelters. Stared at the screen and wondered when my younger relatives will get the call to respond and hoped for peace like all do.
But knowing that people are going to have to die to bring about a return to calm and hoped more of the bad people than the good are those who take an early exit from life.
Somewhere in the back of my head I heard my dad say if necessary turn Gaza into a parking lot. I don’t like it, but if I have to pick between us and them I pick us.
Told the kids the other day that if we have to go through security to go to shul it is better to be safe than sorry. Talked about the run, hide, fight scenarios we go through at work and told them that I hope we never have to deal with any of it.
But if we do there is no hesitation on defending ourselves. If we are put in a position where it is us or them it is always us.
Took the teenager with me to the gym again and was grateful he agreed to work out with me. It hasn’t been his thing, lifting weights and exercising the way I like to.
He competed on the cross country team in high school and loves to run but hasn’t ever enjoyed lifting like I do.
Sometimes I tried to push him a little bit.
“You’re missing an opportunity here. You’re frame is very similar to mine. You don’t have to lift exactly as I did, but if you do just a little you will see results with little effort. You’ll love how that feels.”
I am confident and certain on all accounts because at a few days short of 50 I can still put muscle on pretty quickly and that high is addictive.
I know he can do the same and the high from working out is natural, it is not a substance I worry about him taking
Apparently I was a little more tired when we got there than I realized and certainly not willing to accept I am not 18 anymore.
Somewhere during out workout time and age caught up with me and exhaustion crept up and tried to worm its way throughout my body, but I didn’t want to quit.
I looked to my right and there was no difference in pace, no huffing and puffing. That son of mine was just getting started, a smile on his face he was moving effortlessly.
“Don’t break his stride by getting off the treadmill. Keep going” I silently whispered to myself and so I did.
Later on I sat in the car and stared at the broken garage door thinking about what steps and tools are required to fix it.
Figured I would take a few minutes to catch my breath and then take it on but got sidetracked by the idiocy posted by some people I know.
It was the same kind of uninformed crap as the “mazal tov on your divorce” stuff but I couldn’t ignore this so I updated my status and then made a point to go tell a few people I don’t appreciate their ignorance and their hypocrisy.
Probably a waste of energy with them but maybe not with the lurkers. Maybe not with the others who read and haven’t bought into the nonsensical rambling of a grifter with a penchant for delusion and a problem telling the truth.