Went walking with the dead again today, wasn’t my plan to do so but life doesn’t acquiesce to requests to walk under sunny blue skies on a yellow brick road to see the wizard who can solve all our troubles.
Sometimes the road leads you to the River Styx and you get to meet with Charon and demand he ferry you across because since you ended up here you might as well demand an audience with Hades.
Except Hades doesn’t care if you really are the baddest motherfucker in the Valley or just like the expression.
He won’t come out from beyond and fight you in single combat and he won’t play chess with you either. Can’t taunt him into taking you on with the physical or mental because he doesn’t care if you can kick his ass or solve complex math problems faster than he can.
So you pace back and forth, staring at the walls knowing tearing them down is something you are good at.
You’re like Liam Neeson’s character in Taken and you have developed a particular set of skills that makes you a nightmare for some people, except Hades isn’t a person and this kind of wall hasn’t ever been breached.
That is a fact and if it wasn’t you and the rest of the world would have already heard about it.
When I was a wee lad we went to family camp at UCSB for about seven years and another seven at the Lair of the Bear, Camp Blue of course.
Did at least one week at UCSD in between, but that is neither here nor there.
I didn’t attend either university but friends did and every time I went to visit the campuses were familiar to me from my time as a kid.
One summer when I was around five or six dad took me to where my particular age group was supposed to meet and dropped me off.
They had a baby gate that was designed to keep kids from making a break for it but it wasn’t made for kids like me or so I like to say.
I went over and took off after him, screaming for him to turn around.
He did, picked me up and it took under 15 seconds for me to figure out my jail break wasn’t going to work because the old man was returning me to the jailers.
I was furious. I remember screaming and I remember bigger people preventing me from going after him.
My middle sister sent me a voicemail dad left for my oldest nephew. I played it for my kids and we laughed and then my daughter sent me a couple she had saved.
You can heard dad smiling in the voicemail and you can’t help but feel that he has to be reachable. There is so much life in that voice.
I played them all several times and thought about that time at UCSB when I was five or six.
Thought about how they couldn’t stop me now, not if I saw him. They wouldn’t expect me to move as fast as I still can or to be able to break tackles the way I know I still can.
I could be like Toby Keith sings, “As Good As I Once Was” and I could get to him.
It is a ridiculous thought and I know it is, but I would be lying if I told you I didn’t think about it for a few minutes.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I thought about how many others I could pull out, if I was going to ride into the underworld I would go big or go home.
Except I was home and I knew there wasn’t going to be a big moment or celebration. No variations either in which dad could be a Force ghost, Orrie Wan Wilner wasn’t happening.
It caught me off guard, the move from enjoying listening to his voice to this other feeling.
Can’t say I never expected moments like this or that others didn’t tell me to be prepared because I did and they did.
Would have been kind of cool to pull it off, to grab a few old friends and my grandparents. Would have been fun to talk to the grandfathers about trips to West and East Texas and the plane rides around the country for quick meetings.
They would have nodded and smiled at the tales that come along with it.
Every time someone uses the expression “plain and simple” I think about asking them to share another set of adjectives and like “big and large” to make a point.
I typically don’t because they probably wouldn’t follow what I was getting at and if they did it would lead to a discussion that would either be elegantly ridiculous or stupidly irritating and I would be to blame.
Contrary to belief I don’t always like to talk and I can be very quiet. Hell today I was asked again if I speak much and I just nodded my head.
My son says it makes him a little crazy when I get quiet because my intensity ratchets up a few more points and I can be pretty intense without anything else.
But today when I got silent it was because I was trying to absorb a ton of information and my internal chalkboard was quickly being filled with a ton of notes.
This new venture I started has been so good it has made me nervous that I am missing something and that the other shoe is going to drop.
But there is a part of me that says it doesn’t have to be like that and it could be as good or pretty close to as good as I think.
Made me want to see if there wasn’t another alternative to tearing down the walls and busting open the gates because two tomato cans and string would work for me now.
I’d be ok with sharing a few tales like that.
See what I mean about actively problem solving, might have a tiny black heart but the brain still works pretty good. 😉