Tourists asked me what I thought about the lightning storm last night, had I been to Hard Eight and was I going to hit the beer festival on Main Street.
I told them I didn’t pay much attention to the storm because my thoughts were elsewhere but that Texas thunder and lightning is a good show.
Said I have been to Hard Eight more than a few times and that I had planned to hit the beer fest earlier but got sidetracked.
“Parked my car and walked towards it and remembered I wanted to hit the Rec and choose exercise over alcohol.”
They smiled and gave me a courtesy laugh when I talked about lifting for a bit and then Lyfting as a driver.
I Am Not Chasing Mr. Blue Sky
It is pushing 1 AM on a Friday night and my phone rings. There is a teenage boy on the other end but unlike many years ago this one isn’t wondering I am free to meet him and a couple of girls.
“Dad, I saw Guardians and I want to talk with you about it.”
We spend close to an hour talking about the movie and some of the trailers and I am thrilled. This kid of mine is very much his own man, but he is also very much like me and has no problem being by himself.
He can go hours without saying or sharing much so the smart move is to engage when he is interested.
“I might have to bust out some Baby Groot dance moves at your sister’s Bat Mitzvah.”
He says I’ll embarrass the hell out of her and starts laughing, “Do it!”
My big brother genes are strong in this one.
Saturday afternoon I am slinging iron around, sweat is pouring down my face and I feel like hell.
The baby next to me makes a crack about how much I am curling. I smile and go up 40 pounds.
“It is a warm up boychik, just a warmup.”
“You look ok for an old man, don’t hurt yourself.”
My face doesn’t reveal my true thoughts, but I have matured enough to be conscious that I am not who I was.
I can’t do what I want to do without consequences, if I let my desire to lift like no time has passed the next day or two will hurt.
It is a painful admission, but I can live with it.
So I am deliberate with my workout but my mind wanders a bit.
That kid on the left didn’t appreciate just how fit years of lifting and swimming had made him. He was dumb enough to believe it wouldn’t take much effort to maintain and improve.
It wasn’t particularly hard, but the man on the right has learned much in the last 30 years. I’ll be like so many others and say it is too bad I didn’t appreciate what I had and that I am pushing hard to try to get some of it back.
The funny thing is I never realized how much could change between the time when the little buggers wanted to hang on my neck and now.
Mom, you don’t have to say it, I know how much I have aged. Enjoy having a kid who is close to 50 because ten years from now we’ll have another discussion about how hard it is to believe mine are in their twenties.
Somewhere In Pasadena
Somewhere in Pasadena I know at least a 100 people who are dancing and singing along with U2.
A bunch of them were downtown when the video below was made.
We were seniors in high school and most of us hadn’t lived enough to understand how fast time would go.
Thirty years later I tease some of them about their Facebook pictures and tell them they need to swap out the present because they make us all look like a bunch of old fuckers.
Generation X- What Have We Become
We’re the older and experienced people in the office now and it is a strange but comfortable place to be.
We helped build the tech landscape people talk about and every time I choose to make a couple extra bucks driving people around I smile and think about the dreams we had so long ago.
Some friends and classmates have become grandparents and it sounds less strange each day.
When I meet people or run into folks I haven’t seen in years everyone wants to know if I have kids and how many times I have been married.
Nothing wrong with that at all, but there are moments the kid who was listening to his Walkman before his next race surfaces and wonders where he is at.
He looks out of our eyes at our body and sneers because we had said this would never happen. When the mystery aches and pains show up he asks why and hears ‘we have lived hard.’
Most of the time there is a smile that goes along with it.
With Or Without You
Back in the car the guys I picked up at Hard Eight tell me they are checking out of the Gaylord and want to know if I can take them to the airport too.
I tell them I am happy to wait and to remember the meter is running.
One asks me if I know that U2 is touring and that it is The Joshua Tree tour. I smile and nod my head.
“Came out my senior year, listened to it a million damn times. One of my favorites.
“Do people call you Josh or Joshua?”
“Depends, most of the time if they know me well it is Josh, parents and girlfriends would switch to Joshua quite a bit. Kind of like how it sounded from certain people.”
With or Without You plays on my headphones and a million thoughts float through my head.
There are conversations that I always said I would have that might not ever happen, not my choice but not something I can change on my own.
Not going to cry about what I can or can’t do because life is what it is.
The songs keep playing and I see those seven towers and wonder how many I am going to have time to check out.
Not going to chase Mr. Blue Sky to ask why he occasionally chooses to leave or why he comes back.
Just going to smile and do what I do best.