The kid at the front desk isn’t working today and is instead working out with a buddy of his.
The two of them say hi, ask me a few questions and then laugh because I am as old as their fathers but they don’t speak like I do.
They ask me where I went to college and what I did.
“I was 19 in 1988 and I had a good time in school, learned quite a bit and got a good education in many ways.”
The one asks me to share some music from the time and I tell him I’ll give him five or six songs to mull over.
“There is no particular order, so try them as you wish.
It is an odd mix but I am not taking time to really think it through, I am giving them a quick snapshot.
“How crazy were you in your fraternity days?”
“Crazy enough to not share most of those stories with those who weren’t there.”
Sometimes You Have To Go For It
The boys watch me stumble off of the elliptical and ask if I am ok.
“Yeah, just a little tired.”
“You were huffing and puffing on there. But that is cool, you were going hard.”
I don’t tell them it is embarrassing to hear that because I wasn’t using a level that I think ought to require that sort of effort, but maybe I am being too vain or too hard on myself.
Don’t tell them I am tired of being irritated by pictures and feeling like I have failed to uphold the promises I made to myself years ago.
“Sometimes you have to go for it. Don’t let fear stop you from taking some chances. Know the difference between acting like an idiot because some guy said take chances and not taking a swing at something that might be really good.”
It is unsolicited advice given because I have provided it to my kids and am reminding myself of the importance of doing so.
Recent conversations with some of the guys has reinforced it because some of them speak as if we have gone as far as we can.
They act like 50 is a death sentence.
I know I think/mention it often but it is not because I feel like I am dying but because it feels like I am so damn old and yet so very young.
You know how you turn 50 dear reader?
“Show up. Wake up each day. Don’t get hit by a bus or blown up. Don’t let the man/woman who broke your heart stop you from living. It is that simple.”
My whole being hurts right now, mind, heart, soul and body.
Some people say it is mercury retrograde and some say it is the combination of all that is going on in my world.
“Do you understand how much you are carrying right now?”
It is a question that makes me scrunch up my face and scratch my head because it makes it sound like I have more choices in the matter than I do.
Can I make changes and do things differently?
Yeah, I can but it is hard to see what the benefit of doing some of those things is because there is no safety net.
And some of it cannot be avoided, sidestepped or shunted off.
It is clear to me that a significant part of what is going on is related to processing dad’s death and I won’t bury that.
Took a while to catch up and now it is here. The only thing I can do is go through it and try not to let the storm fuck me up more than I already am.
I am not bothered by describing it that way. If you know all that has accompanied this you understand and if you don’t it either means I don’t need you to know or you haven’t asked and I don’t volunteer some things.
We Are The Champions
My dad’s unveiling is in a couple of weeks and in some ways I am dreading seeing the stone.
It irks me to say that because it is irrational and illogical. Doesn’t change anything, but it feels like it brings a different sort of finality to things.
When we get to the cemetery my youngest New Jersey nephew will be able to tell dad his baseball team just won the state championship.
By that time he’ll have additional news to share about whether they advance beyond the regional playoffs that come post state championship.
Dad loved being grandpa so it is too bad he is not going to be able to make an appearance to say Mazal Tov in person because he would absolutely want to.
We’ll add that to the list of things to celebrate including my daughter’s 15th birthday which comes two days after what would have been the 15th anniversary of dad’s triple bypass.
It will be different this year as will celebrating my daughter’s birthday, but life is filled bittersweet.
The trick is to let the sweet overtake the bitter and not let the bad/hard prevent you from living.
One of the boys looks at me while I am lifting and asks if I am as angry as I look or if it is just a face I make.
I don’t know how to answer the question because I am furious about a few things and with a few people.
Got some challenges I didn’t create that I have to manage and I don’t need it now.
He doesn’t need to know any of this so I tell him it is just a face I make which might be accurate as I don’t have video or photo footage of me lifting.
“Sometimes you have to say goodbye and keep on walking.”
They wave back at me and I squint as the Texas sunset momentarily blinds me…maybe this is the hero’s exit or the time the fool gets hit in the parking lot. 😉