“Dad, are you trying to look like everyone here?”
I shrug and ask her why she thinks that.
“The jeans, flannel and boots. You going hunting now.”
“Baby girl, I got these Timberland boots before I met your mother. Been wearing 501s since I was in elementary school or junior high.
And hell, I know exactly where a picture of me wearing a flannel shirt from my senior year of high school is. Been wearing them for far longer than that.”
We go back and forth some more and I tell her about how much I enjoy splitting wood, that I have been fishing in three different countries and handled guns in two.
“You don’t know everything about me, I have 35 years of life on you.
Who Is That Guy?
Flipped screens to find the picture above to download and insert and remembered.
That shot was taken the night of a surprise party some dear friends threw for my 18th birthday.
Got all sorts of other memories from that night that make me smile and remind me of how very different life can be from what you expect.
A decade later I wandered around Israel with my wife showing her where I wanted to live and pointing where I had called her from when I had been there in 1995.
Stood outside Nathan’s Hot Dogs on a Saturday night, this song playing in the background while the woman at the counter yelled at a friend for asking for ice.
“Rabbi, we are in the fucking desert. You of all people should know we are in the fucking desert and that G-d doesn’t want the drinks here to come with ice. You have to ask.”
I spent the rest of the trip referring to him as the fucking rabbi or some variation thereof, that is whenever the kids or wives walked away.
That is an only in Israel story which reminds me, I don’t think I have seen the we’re in the fucking desert rabbi in at least 12 years, maybe more.
Hell, I don’t think we have done more than exchange an email in the last six or eight years.
Did I mention I am drinking a bottle of Shiner now or that I had my first when I first hit Dallas in the early 90s?
Not particularly significant but you don’t know everything about me and maybe that is worth something ‘cuz you never know what little move or moment from your past will influence the present.
The thought struck me last night as I sat upon the couch and reflected upon a day that felt like it contain a life changing moment.
Stared at the ceiling and thought about how dad would tell me not to put the cart before the horse and how I would agree because I shouldn’t.
But dammit, I had this feeling on and off that makes me wonder. I hear bells, I feel fire and I hear voices.
Given the choice I would have taken it out on the wood pile. Would have split wood until my hands were callused again and I couldn’t swing anymore.
Funny thing is how long the 18 year-old could have gone compared to the older and wiser version of the present.
That guy had no real responsibilities and had no problem spending hours in the gym. He thought he’d probably make aliyah, become a soldier and find a good job afterwards.
He wasn’t looking for the same comfort and standard of living as the modern version. Wasn’t ever worried about anything serious happening because he was 18.
Don’t think he ever imagined that 32 years later he would spend part of the afternoon talking to people about tornadoes and earthquakes.
And if he did, he never expected that he would be living in a place that got tornadoes or thinking about if there was more he could do to prepare for them.
Me & Brother Pablo Down By The School Yard
Brother Pablo and I clink bottles and agree how lucky the Metroplex was that no one was killed in the tornadoes.
A couple of schools were destroyed so it is almost a certainty that had these hit during daylight hours there would have been bad things.
Brother Pablo asks me to do what brothers do and unburden my soul. I smile and share a tale.
“My friend, you ought to be careful who and where you tell that. It is the kind story that will light a fire in some and ignite something else in others.”
I nod my head and smile.
“They know how and where to find me. Some holes can be filled in a variety of ways and others can never be.”
“Be careful my friend, the whirlwind has no rhyme or reason to it.”
“Sometimes you dance in the fire and walk in the storms. Even you Brother Pablo do not know everything about me. I shall be released.”
Brother Pablo smiles, raises his glass and toasts, “to learning more about those who set our hearts on fire and nothing about those who make our souls cold.”