It is the Shabbos of my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah and my son goes along with my niece and nephews to open the ark.
The youngest leans in, takes a deep sniff and turns to my son, “It smells holy.”
I don’t hear this story until the next day but enjoy it so much I tell share it not just with friends/family, but with you.
What I don’t share with my son is how I may or may not have kissed a girl almost where he stood.
Ok, it was probably thirty feet away but even at almost 17 it is not a story he wants to hear nor is it one I will tell in full.
Instead we’ll call it a forbidden kiss and say she told me we had bad timing but that didn’t stop her from pressing her lips against mine.
And while we share blasphemous rumors allow me one more comment, I shared part of this tale with a rabbi who said it wasn’t the preferred way to get people to go to shul, but it was probably effective.
I Kissed Her- Was It Bad Timing?
I am back in Texas, lost in thoughts and memories and uncertain of what time zone I am in.
It is the fourth night in the new place and I am working at a dining room table that has both my personal and work computers stationed upon it.
For the time being this is not a problem because not only am I the only one here, there are too many unopened boxes to be navigated, negotiated and dealt with to work elsewhere.
I’ll dedicate a significant part of the weekend to tending to them and bring order to the chaos around me.
Or at least I’ll try to bring order, some would accuse me of being the spoon that stirs the pot, an expert fire dancer.
And if not expert, well, experienced.
“Come down off your throne and leave your body alone
Somebody must change
You are the reason I’ve been waiting all these years
Somebody holds the key” Can’t Find My Way Home- Blind Faith
Just a couple days removed from having blocked someone on Facebook I am far calmer and relaxed than I was.
That is not my preferred way of dealing with irritating people.
To be honest I would have liked to have made him aware that he had gotten my attention and then let him enjoy the fruits of his labor.
But it was bad timing and sometimes the best thing you can do is turn your back upon others and let them feel the absence of your presence.
I have become quite proficient at doing so and probably should increase the frequency of such things but it is all about timing.
Speaking of timing, the short video below is an old favorite of mine.
Her Name Is Aphrodite
I walk off of the plane and see a man child looking at me.
The boy who calls me dad has grown about four inches since I last saw him, but he is not a skinny weed like so many other boys his age.
He is getting broad and thick and I am compelled to measure his back by placing my hands upon it.
Instead of one covering the entire span between his shoulder blades it now takes two and I am shocked, proud and a little sad.
I made a choice long ago to do what is required to provide for the kids and I have no regrets about the decision but damn, I see so much has happened.
So much in so little and part of me feels a bit crazed because I can’t be in two places at once and there is a price to be paid for all we say and do.
A price I have paid in full and with interest and would do so again because I can only operate based upon what I know at the time I know it.
But there are some regrets about some things I chose not to do in the past, some roads I didn’t walk down upon and though I do my best to forget it doesn’t always happen.
Those ghosts have anchored their chains in places that don’t allow me to forget, so the siren song tortures my ears and upon need I order the crew to tie me to the mast and sail forward, always forward.
It is the fire inside, the one that burns so bright and refuses to be quenched that requires movement.
Things I Know
Sometimes there are conversations in which I insist I know and understand far more than I am given credit for.
Conversations in which the source of my knowledge is questioned and I shrug my shoulders and say sometimes I just know.
It is not a good answer, not when the interrogator wants me to provide a place for them to anchor their ship.
There is no bedrock or seafloor upon which to rely, not in this case.
It is faith and that is a hard place to rest when you fear you will fall.
These conversations have been between father and son and man and woman.
They have taken place with people who know I am not trying to fool them because there is no reason for me to do so.
There is no upside, no benefit or purpose but sometimes fear drives you to act in ways that don’t always serve you.
Sometimes uncertainty is the master we follow and that is just how it goes.
In the grand tradition of our president I must tell you those are not my small feet in the picture at the top of the page.
And I must tell you my daughter has yelled at me, because she says she got my feet and my hands which are far too big for a girl.
“Dad, you gave me man hands.”
“Let me teach you how to make a proper fist. If you swing it right those boys will wonder if I was the one that popped them in the mouth.”
She doesn’t smile.
Back to reality.
The fridge has Pellegrino, Shiner Bock and some generic market seltzer water in it.
A late afternoon craving for something sweet is marked by the Peace, Love and Little Donuts box on the counter.
It is still full and as the final words are typed out on the page Bow Wow Wow sings Do You Want To Hold Me while insisting Pinnochio is a real boy.