One of the boys says he knows why I moved to Texas and that I ought not try to deny it because he knows I can be single minded of purpose and capable of moving heaven and earth.
“I don’t know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult but I am sure you don’t know as much as you think you do. You know part of a story but not the whole story.”
Later on I’ll wander under endless blue skies and think about how I feel displaced because home is not quite home anymore and Texas hasn’t become home with a a capital H.
I am still recovering from my surgery, the one that was supposed to be to repair a single hernia but instead turned out to be a double.
It aggravates me not to be able to lift as I wish almost as much I am irked by the year it takes to pay off the part of the surgery not covered by good health insurance.
Standing on the balcony of the apartment I have rented while I try to figure out where home ought to be I’ll stare out over Grapevine and mutter you must have 10,000 letters saved in your email to no one in particular.
The inability to exercise as I really wish and an exceptional amount of stress helps me put on a chunk of weight I don’t want or need.
This in spite of my walking miles upon miles because when I am not working I have endless amounts of time alone and I am not paying close attention to how much I eat or recognizing I am not a kid anymore.
Time will pass and some of the challenges that have presented the biggest heartaches will ease somewhat and even be overcome.
But not all will be resolved and every time I think I have found a solution things will happen and I’ll discover I am not quite as far along the road as I want nor hope to be.
There will be a conversation with dad in which he tells me to remember I have survived every bad day to which I respond “so far.”
He laughs and tells me I am not allowed to die until he is gone and I tell him I expect to be able to aggravate him for another 20 or so years if he can keep up.
“You meant to say, if you can keep up me. Better get a reputation before you try to challenge me.”
We share a chuckle and he tells me to remember some things are between us and we share some of those things knowing they won’t be shared with any one else.
Every visit with him since including both above ground and otherwise includes my update and maybe some strong words for his not upholding his end of the deal to stick around a little bit longer.
Sometimes I think about it and hear him tell me life is tough all over and I smile.
He could be very gentle but he had a very rough edge too and occasionally his grandson asks if I really have to be the same kind of dad as I had.
“Depends on what kind of issue/thing we are talking about. Your grandfather wasn’t perfect and I try to not to emulate all he did, but there were/are some things I have come to believe in now.
You may not like it, but I expect you’ll come to appreciate it. Or you won’t.”
The younger Mr. Wilner says he understands that to mean I am not bothered by it.
“No. I am not. Got plenty that does bother me and I have made mistakes, but this isn’t one of them.”
He sighs, shrugs his shoulders at me and walks away.
The kid doesn’t realize he gets away with murder sometimes or that he is significantly smarter than I am but so it goes.
Some years down the road I am inside the gym listening to a guy tell me if I give up all carbs and cut my diet to 1000 calories I’ll the weight I want.
His advice is interrupted by another guy who pushes intermittent fasting and another who says for $300 a month I can get meals delivered and I’ll be set.
I barely hear either of them because I am staring at a guy who was pretty chunky but no longer is. He has dropped the weight and looks ripped.
I watch him lift some pretty significant weight and the initial commenter tells me that he heard the formerly chunky but not muscular guy is using steroids.
“Maybe you ought to talk to him. Not all steroids are bad, he could be using some of that human growth hormone stuff.”
I shake my head, “got almost no interest in steroids.”
“What does almost no interest mean?”
“It means I am like everyone else, I like the idea of a simple shortcut but I fear the side effects of them, even things called HGH. I don’t want to start thinking about using them cuz it could be worse than the side effects that come with having extra weight.
I’ll lose some of this dad bod without having to risk the consequences. I am not vain enough to risk that crap.”
The younger Mr. Wilner is going to vote in the current primary and so he finds himself asking his old man a series of questions about candidates, bills and my thoughts.
I am distracted by other stuff and tell him I want him to focus on really living life.
“Don’t pass through it, live it. I am not going to give up every carb or good thing to try and look like I am 19 again. People will love me for me, not my body.
And if they don’t, fuck ’em.
But I am not going to destroy my health either because that is like saying ‘fuck me.’
Your vote is your own and you don’t have to vote as I do but I want you to always have a rational/logical reason you voted as you did for yourself.”
He nods his head and I tell him I never want to hear he didn’t think for himself. I don’t really worry about that, the kid is as independent as they come and unlikely to do anything others do if he doesn’t believe in it or want it.
Got a thousand things on my mind and some frustration because I am hard on myself about learning new skills and processes.
It irks me that I don’t have some things down yet, but I am laser focused upon it.
Still in between the studying I find myself thinking about how I kind of feel disconnected from everyone and everything.
We live in interesting times, I am ready for some dull moments to come back again.
Maybe I’ll write another letter.