A teenage girl tells me to be cautious about who I give heart emojis too because you never want some girl to get the wrong idea.
I smile and ask her what I should think if some girl gives everyone else but me a heart emoji.
Her eyes narrow and she tells me she is not playing this game with me and I say it is not a game, I notice and know things.
She rolls her eyes at me and I tell her there are girls that pay attention to what I do and say and how I do and say it.
“They are women dad. You are talking about women.”
I laugh and tell her she might be surprised at how many women I know will refer to themselves as a girl.
“After you have had a few kids and lived a little bit you don’t get as hung up on some things or so one of the girls told me.”
She smacks her forehead and mutters she can’t believe any female was ever interested in me and I say it is ok, I identify as a lesbian trapped in a man’s body who has given up on dealing with crazy people.
That aforementioned 15 year-old girl asks me if I know about a few people who got divorced and I nod my head yes.
“Do you know why?”
I shake my head no but it is not an honest answer. I know some stories but they aren’t mine to tell and I have been around long enough to know how complicated simple stories can be.
She is so very sharp and in tune with her old man that she stares and waits to see if I will crack.
I smile at her and she recognizes this is a moment where it is not worth trying to poke me because there will not be any answers.
There is no reason for me to talk about it. No insight to be shared or given, no wisdom to be gained even if I talk about bloggers she never met and probably never will.
She has already heard me say we all have stories and secrets and that sometimes that is ok because not everything needs to be shared.
Truth is there have been some major events here that have had a huge impact and I am processing those.
I am smiling because some of them are to be celebrated at the highest levels and because I can finally take a breath again.
And as some of the sweetest air I have ever inhaled fill my lungs I recognize how hard the time up to now has been.
There has been some of the most frightening and miserable moments I can think of.
Dad promised me it would come and I asked him how he could promise something like that. He put his hand on my shoulder and said you have to believe.
He was right and the truth is I never stopped believing, but there were moments where it was exceptionally hard.
More than a few sleepless nights, especially when I was alone in my apartment in Grapevine. I think there was a time or two where I might not have slept more than a handful of hours over a week.
But perseverance paid off and we made it over a huge hump. The fight isn’t finished, but I can see daylight and so can someone else.
That makes all the difference.
The dentist says I have made tremendous strides on improving my oral health and that there isn’t a ton of work left to do on my mouth.
I thank him for the pep talk and ask if that is prefacing news that I am going to pay for his next vacation.
The answer is of course not, especially if I take care of this one problem that exists.
“Your insurance is good so your portion is only a little more than a grand.”
I might have paraphrased a bit of it, but the dollar figure is close. Part of me wants to call the dentist in LA to suggest they pony up some cash because I hold them accountable for some of this but I don’t bother.
The ghosts of the past and present are too busy doing battle inside my skull and I am forced to pay attention to them.
My gut is on fire and so is my head–there are big questions floating inside and I am mulling over whether I wish to pursue them or not.
Part of me is very curious and highly interested in playing Indiana Jones so that the answers might be determined and peace of mind found.
But there is another part of me that says “fuck it. What you chase isn’t going to be found, caught or discovered. It either finds you or it is not going to be found or understood. Turn around and walk away.”
There is a certain attraction in doing so. Sometimes you have to create your own new beginnings and I have had more than a little experience in doing so.
Maybe now is the time to do so and maybe it isn’t.
The best news is no decisions are required and any deadlines that exist are self-imposed so I’ll probably put some of this aside.
Got a few other big priorities to focus upon and if you ask me what I really believe will happen the course I am picking now makes the most sense.
Que, sera, sera you know.
The current victory is pretty damn sweet, might as well enjoy that while I can.