I cannot confirm nor deny having told a teenage boy that teenage girls spend time in the bathroom practicing the many faces they share with the world, especially siblings and parents.
But I can tell you my soon-to-be-deceased for 90 days father told me a while back that I might not enjoy learning what it is like to be the father of the aforementioned teenage girl.
“Joshua, your sisters were experts in making me want to run away from home and just as good at making me wonder why I would ever think of something so dumb. You on the other hand were an expert at pissing me off. You’re much more interesting now.”
I thanked him for the warm wishes and said I was starting to understand somethings about teenage girls that I never appreciated as an older brother.
“You have no idea, but you will. When she wants to be sweet there is no one nicer or sweeter, but when she decides you have aggravated her watch out.”
I asked him if he really wanted to talk about his granddaughter like that and he laughed. You only wish you could aggravate your sister the way your niece can. It is unreal. Payback is sweet and it is just as sweet watching yours do it to you.
He laughed and then smiled as broadly as you’d ever see him smile. Dad loved being grandpa.
Maybe Grief Scares Them
Tomorrow marks 90 days since dad died and a bunch of people haven’t said one word to me about dad dying.
If it wasn’t for Facebook I am sure I wouldn’t know this or be far less cognizant of it, but the thing is I am.
Those last few days of hospice when I posted constantly weren’t to generate sympathy or comments.
They were to keep me sane because every minute that went by felt like a lifetime and I alternated between the feeling of dread that the end was coming and the hope it would come soon.
Guilt always came along for the ride because I knew the end would come and I would think it was too soon and so I asked how I could wish for us to all to grieve sooner.
And yet at the same time I knew the drugs would ease his pain and begin to increase ours because as his comfort grew he slipped farther and farther away.
It is the nature of how these things go.
So I wrote down my thoughts and steeled myself for the eternity of being son whose father has walked into the cornfields.
Intermixed with this I got some amazing support and messages I never anticipated and was pleasantly surprised by the lift it gave me.
And then I saw the posts from those who said nothing about dad but lots about the exciting things they were doing.
I told myself it was silly to get upset and later on mentioned it to someone and they said people don’t know what to say.
I understand but I don’t.
They could have said they were sorry and that would be enough.
Maybe they are afraid of grief and mourners.
Maybe I should be the bigger man and let it go, but maybe I am not the bigger man.
Maybe I am just the guy who whose dad died 90 days ago and who hopes he was better at offering condolences/support than the people he is complaining about.
Where The Wild Things Are
I have thought about making like Max and taking my boat to the secret island where the wild rumpus is held.
Thought about going with the dog and together we’ll become the King of the Wild Things and do as one does but responsibility has prevented that.
Some days I find it easy to say responsibility has made my life better and sometimes I think it fucked my shit up.
Sometimes I think about what I haven’t done and wonder how many times opportunity knocks and whether I can get some of those knocks to come back again.
It is a natural thing, thinking about what is, what was and what could be.
Once the aforementioned teenage girl l0oked at Facebook and asked me why there were girls commenting and I asked her if she thought boys and girls could be friends.
“Of course we can. I have friends who are boys, but you are different.”
“No, I am not. I am your father but to some girls I am an old friend.”
Her eyes narrowed and she said it was good that I admitted I am old.
“Abba, some of the girls commented multiple times. Why?”
“Because they are old girlfriends who once loved me and like being close.”
That made her face pucker up, “Ewww. That is disgusting.”
“They don’t think so.”
“You mean they used to. They must not know what you do to a bathroom.”
I laughed and smiled.
“DAD! Don’t smile like that, it is creepy!”
“Because that is the look you give when you know something and don’t want to say. I don’t want to think about that.”
“No, you don’t.”
I laughed hard and wished dad was here for this.
Voting & MacArthur
The line at the polls for early voting were long and it wreaked havoc upon my work plans.
It took almost 90 minutes from start to finish so I had to adjust plans on the fly and found myself clearing most of my afternoon schedule.
Hit a couple of meetings in Las Colinas and went to lunch at a Shawarma place that had recently opened.
It was good, probably the best I have had since I moved to Texas so I’ll absolutely go back.
But because things got so mucked up earlier I spent most of it eating while working on a spreadsheet. Sat there wondering when I turned into the grumpy old man who muttered to himself about fixing broken formulas and making sure text fit into cells.
When I walked out and got ready to leave a guy asked me where we were and I told him we we were off of MacArthur, like the general.
The guy had no idea who I was talking about. It made me shake my head because I am pretty certain he was a 30 something year-old American.
Got in the car, looked at the empty seat on my right and said “it is too bad you are not here dad because I could have said ‘old soldiers never die, they just fade away’ and you would have gotten it.”
And the silence that started 90 days ago continued so I turned on the motor and drove away.