Who Needs A Beard Anyway

The reflection of the man in the mirror waved at me and asked why we didn’t have a Black Borsalino hat and then answered his own question.

“Because. you don’t own one and if you did, there would be more than a couple of people who would look at you in your black suit and call you rabbi, or at least they would if you still had the beard.”

I rolled my eyes at him and said I didn’t care what people thought and pointed out the last week has been chock full of the kind of crap that makes us want to burn bridges, salt the earth and hide in a cave.

There is no greater joy than having the kind of GI distress that makes you wonder if there is a better and less painful way to lose weight.


Sometimes I am given experiences that make me wonder how my father managed not to kill me.

I walked away from one where after I barked “Grow up, I am on your fucking side” I wondered how many times I would say it today and then shrugged my shoulders.

‘Cuz sometimes that sort of thing is a gift if you look at it from a particular perspective. When you care enough to be angry that someone is a pain-in-your-ass and you both know it there is something special there.

And I suppose the best part of being almost 50 is having the strength to walk away without forcing the issue. As the third or maybe fourth generation Wilner man to growl “I have said my piece” and go silent I find no reason to confirm understanding.

What Do I Know?

The two primary reasons my hair has been on fire the last few days are because I have put a tremendous amount of effort into trying to make certain things happen and I am not sure that I succeeded.

It is fair to say I fell short in one area and fair to say I was close. It is fair to say it is not solely my fault but ultimately the buck stops with me so what is fair and reasonable may not matter.

In concept I shouldn’t have any reason to be stressed out because I made significant progress and I can illustrate and illuminate how that is going to play out in a positive fashion.

Yet I can’t relax because the truth is I don’t know if that is how it will be viewed. I don’t know if it will be seen and understood as I do or if I can make it understood.

The anticipation makes me crazy and there have been several moments in which I wanted to pick up a phone and prick the bubble so to speak.

Pick up the phone and say I know this didn’t go exactly as we wanted so that I could hear the response and get a sense of what I might be dealing with.

Except the thing is it is possible there will be no negative repercussions or they will be minimal. It is possible that by pricking the bubble I might make things worse or create havoc that doesn’t need to be so I remain silent.

Silent and hopeful that maybe things are better than I expect.

Hopeful that some of the things I set in motion will bear fruit immediately and I will be able to point at them and know it is understood that very good things came from my efforts.

It is not easy waiting. It is not easy not knowing.

It is not easy feeling like someone has poured hot sauce over a thousand paper cuts.

But I don’t run.

Look At The Calendar

Got some follow up appointments with the docs coming up and some questions about current challenges.

One of the guys and I spent 15 minutes talking about the health challenges we face and then we laughed at how damn old we sound. In concept neither one of us are in immediate danger but if we don’t continue to make adjustments and do a few things that is likely to change.

It is a strange feeling to not look at the potential for health issues as something well down the road and to think about what would happen if health insurance changed.

With the advent of the new year I am paying almost $100 per pay period more for a PPO that has better coverage and lower co-pays. Given certain circumstances I expect it to be a wash and lower co-pays will help balance it out but I sure don’t like it.

When I looked at the calendar and thought about how I had considered spending fifty I got irritated because shit happens and there is a certainty that I won’t be able to do some of it.

In some respects it doesn’t matter because the opportunity to do such things still exists, but it will be pushed back…maybe.


On a related note I am mildly irritated that I haven’t made enough friends here to have any sort of real birthday party.

The silly thing about that is I don’t know if I want one. I don’t know if I really care or if I am irritated by the thought that most of the people I would want to be there aren’t around.

Some of the guys have talked a bit about a road trip here or maybe elsewhere for a joint 50th. It sounds like it could be fun, but I don’t know if it is going to happen.

Birthdays in Texas have been kind of a mixed bag, didn’t do much for 44, spent 48 alone and did some family stuff for 49.

If that is the biggest problem I have to deal with there is no doubt that life is pretty good, but it doesn’t mean that it is not worth thinking about a little bit.

I have a few pills I am taking on a regular basis and some equipment, but it nothing I can’t handle or potentially rid myself of…potentially.

Doing My Best

Watched a video that is about 16.5 years old today of dad, my son, oldest nephew and niece. Made me smile to hear and see the old man and for a moment I forgot he was gone and prepared to call him.

Wanted to ask where the time went and was certain he’d give me shit for how much older I look now and all the hair I used to have.

And then I remembered how my son got to say goodbye to dad.

Dad looked up at him from the hospital bed and my kid flashed a huge genuine smile and said “I love you too grandpa.”

Given the circumstances it was amazing and a gift that I know meant the world to dad.

Thought about some of the recent struggles and heard dad tell me all you can do is your best and thought a bit about how that softened over the years.

The guy who rode me and told me we always know when we have half assed it stopped pushing me there because I had earned his trust.

Came home after a workout that was unsatisfying for a host of reasons, stood in the shower and told myself I had tried.

“I am doing my best dad.”

I could almost hear him say then I would be ok. So strange to think the days of hearing it live are gone.

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