He smiled and told me I am one of the calmest people he knows and followed up with, “I can’t imagine you doing anything that would upset people or cause trouble.”
“There are people who will assure you that I am capable of ruffling a feather and or making my presence known in ways that are colorful.”
He scrunched up his face and tilted his head to the side.
“Does colorful mean you swear or is there more to it?”
“If I looked you up online would I find a mugshot?”
“No, but you’ll find some of the things I have written.”
“Really. Is there anything I have heard of?”
“Fifty-Seven Shades of Ketchup, Bad Anniversary Sex You Wish You Never Had and Vegans Need To Eat More Meat.”
“I don’t think you have sold many copies of those or we wouldn’t be talking.”
I shrug my shoulders but before I can say more the phone rings.
The Architect Of Your Future
I am in some kind of mood but I can’t tell you precisely what is. Can’t say if it is because I am tired of doctors and tests, am pissed off ‘cuz dad’s dead or if there is some other reason.
Got my thoughts and ideas but will keep those particular units silent today because there are boundaries.
Took a look at waterbeds online and thought about how nice it would be to have one now. Added it to the list of things I am considering for the near future and then opened a couple bills.
Ninety minutes into my gym time I took a look in the mirror and scrunched up my face because this almost middle aged body is fighting me.
It is refusing to respond as if we are still 20.
“You are the architect of your future you blankety-blank.”
My reflection wasn’t fazed by my words and repeated them back to me.
“Dammit man, we need more power from the dilithium crystals or whatever will make things burn at a much higher heat.”
Once again the mocking from the reflection and mild irritation in that some parts of me are responding quite well to the weights and others are reluctant to respond.
A young trainer wanders over and asks what I am trying to accomplish.
“I want to lose about 100-115 pounds and grow a giant handlebar mustache.”
“Would you like to me to show you some exercises?”
“Will they help me lose that 100 pounds?”
He stares at me, clearly wondering if I am serious.
“Sir, that might be a little much. Maybe you ought to shoot for less.”
That mood makes me want to respond with “what about 85 pounds” because I think that will make him scrunch up his face but I don’t say it.
I laugh and tell him if I lose 100 pounds I’ll weigh less than I did in junior high.
He laughs with me and I stop mid chuckle. He has caught me at a bad time and doesn’t need me to chew on his hide.
Give Me 71 Chances
Someone asks how many chances I need and I say as many as required.
“That is not how it works. You get three wishes.”
“No, give me 71 chances. I demand it to be so.”
“Who are you to demand anything?”
“I am a man.”
“What kind of answer is that?”
“An honest one. If I said I was a woman you’d either call me a liar or say I am the ugliest you have seen.”
“Why 71 chances?”
“Why not? I could say one because we only get this one life. I could say one kiss changes a life forever or say that one song does the same. We all know those one hit wonders.”
“Sometimes you’re really out there.”
“You know what people want? They want to spend time with the people who don’t care if they are really out there. They want to be with those who meet them where they are.”
I think about so many different moments with my father. Sometimes it is because I am searching for particular moments and sometimes it is because I fear forgetting the little things.
Because there are still pieces that are blurry and though I am mostly confident that fog will fade I am not certain.
Today I thought again about not having gotten the chance to ask him in those final days if he was scared.
I don’t believe he was but I didn’t ask so I don’t know.
He would never complain or hold it against me for not asking but I am not as forgiving.
It is more fun to think of a waterbed and the possibilities than to look back upon some of these other areas and maybe it is more valuable.
Because I cannot go back.
Trust me, I have tried to turn the clock back more than once to redo or relive a couple of things.
But I can go forward and I can take what I learned from the decisions I made or didn’t make into that future.
Don’t need to go to school to become an architect after all. Who knew.