He asks if I am disturbed and I say ‘yeah, I am.’
“Poor baby, are you triggered?”
He says it with as much disdain and disgust as he can muster and I wonder if he has thought about how tightly I might be wound or if that one more twist might cause my spring to break.
Maybe he hasn’t thought about whether I’m willing to accept the consequences of taking a shot or maybe he doesn’t care.
Young men in their twenties aren’t known for always thinking things through, this I know from experience.
Most of the time the gym serves as a great tool for blowing off steam and regaining perspective but today it didn’t.
It is the second day in a row in which I couldn’t quite find my groove there so instead of leaving relaxed and recharged I felt frustration and deep levels of anger.
Three deep breaths inside the car, eyes closed I thought about what I could do to fix things and came up with a silly solution.
I pulled up a clip of Cap fighting and it made me smile. “It kind of feels personal.”
Cap and I go back about 40 years or so, at least I think that is about when I first picked up one of his comic books at 7-11 so watching clips reminds me of some very good childhood memories.
That moment in time pulls out a couple of memories of sitting in the back yard with my grandfather. I hear their voices and watch them smoke cigars and decide I want to enjoy that smell now.
So I head to Grapevine and wander down Main Street for a few. Tourists walk by and ask if I have a suggestion for a place to go wine tasting.
I have been wine tasting in Napa Valley and the Golan Heights but haven’t tried any of the wineries here so I tell them I don’t and wander into the local cigar shop.
It must be four years since I last smoked one and as I haven’t done so with any sort of regularity I don’t have a favorite.
The kids wouldn’t be happy to know I am in here but they are in California so I don’t have to listen to their complaints.
Their great-grandfathers stopped smoking cigars before they were born so they don’t have any of the memories I do to associate with them.
To them the smell is awful, but to me it is like a brief trip back in time.
Ten minutes and one recommendation from the owner later three cigars follow me home.
That leads to forty minutes of bliss in the backyard, one cigar in hand, headphones on, music playing and finally that edge that didn’t want to leave is gone.
All You Can Do Is Roll With It
We’re still waiting for dad to be released from the hospital so he can go to the rehab joint.
I haven’t spoken with him since a day or two after the surgery but my mother has kept me abreast of this progress.
He wasn’t too pleased about his circumstances and I understand that. It would make me crazy, I can’t imagine being in his position.
When we spoke I fed him back one of his favorite lines and said “you have to play the cards you’re dealt” and heard the same deep sigh I must have given him when he said to me as a kid.
“All you can do is roll with it. Fight like hell dad, I’ll be there soon. Your grand kids will be there even sooner.”
He said he would and I said ok.
I went to bed around 2:00 or so last night and it looks like there is a damn good chance tonight bed won’t be on my mind before 4:00.
That is what happens when it is just me. I revert back to my natural bachelor state.
There is no schedule but mine to follow and unlike my college life there is a full refrigerator and cash to do things with.
I suspect some of this edge I have been feeling has to do with the strain of not being able to do more to help my old man.
The kids and I have banged heads a bunch of times lately but I don’t know how much has to do with their being teenagers and my frustration with not being able to do more.
Might be a mix of both.
So I do my best to be a good father and a good son. Do my best to make myself invaluable at work and push myself at the gym so that I don’t succumb to the same illnesses as dad.
I don’t know how much is/was in his control, but figure that my job is to try and fix things as best I can to avoid having it happen to me.
This is a strange place to be and a strange thing to experience. There are no rules or road map for handling it.
And the strangeness of it all is punctuated by the despicable acts of a bad president supported by bad politicians and the willful blindness of supporters who seem determined to prove the bad stuff of America past is pulled into the present.
If only I could believe that thoughts and prayers worked I’d ask for some of those directed at the victims of gun violence be directed towards my dad’s recovery.
Guess I’ll have to rely upon the doctors and whatever information we can dig up to help make sure the doctors do all that can be done.