Sunday, April 29, 2007

From the Bleachers

Emerson stands on third waiting for B. to drive him home for the second time in as many games. His voice reaches me in the bleachers above the crowd noise. "Hey Daddy! Look where I am!” He knows he is going to score. Having once felt the sweet slap of cleated foot on home plate, he is ready to repeat it. B. hits a soft grounder toward second. Em takes off like volleyball serve. My dear enthusiastic Boy runs as if he is underwater. But he scores. He finds me in the stands and smiles his million dollar smile.

B.’s father and I are very different men but there is a like there. We are overbearing fathers in different ways. And we obviously love our sons in similar ones. We joke that we are the only parents tracking statistics—if only mentally—of a team of five-year-olds. “Two-for-two with an RBI and two runs scored,” we grin. But our joke is ringed with pride—deadly sin be damned.

There is a thing about seeing one’s son standing at home plate—either with bat in hand or having just plodded across to score—that helps outline the indefinable.

Watching him, it occurs to me that wherever Emerson is he will always be home.

Or well on his way.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Late Night Random

Like John Bender from The Breakfast Club, I have a slow loping gait of which I have tried for years to rid myself. In much the same way some Southerners who are oddly ashamed of their accents try to shed them.

I have Carpenter ants in my house the size of field mice.

The rain falls.

I think I have monkeys in my attic. Whatever is up there is bigger than are squirrels. More agile than are possum. More deliberate even than raccoons. That leaves monkeys. Or homeless people. I am hoping for monkeys. With the exception of their fondness for throwing their own shit at people, I find them fascinating. Sometimes I think they know what I am thinking. Monkeys in general, not my attic monkeys. That would be weird.

I think I am in love with being alone. It is comfortable. And the rarity of comfort is not to be dismissed or unappreciated.

I wear my hair long these days. Certainly too long for my age. But it makes me feel at home with myself. (Again with the welcome commodity of comfort). It does not look particularly good. But neither am I cultivating overt ridiculousness. It simply feels right for now. I think I’ll keep it a while more.

On Monday, I saw The Killers at the Ryman. I saw a little girl on her father’s shoulders. I saw a ten-year old boy asleep in a pew. I saw more beautiful breasts than an old guy’s heart could digest. And I saw the best rock show I’ve seen in 15 years. I returned home happy, buzzed, and sated.

I rode in the backseat of a 2007 BMW 328i on Monday evening. I became one part excitement. One part appreciation. Two parts nostalgia for past aspirations(s). I eventually ran out of what it is that makes up parts. I do so adore the finer things in life. I have reached a point in life where I no longer experience envy (possible?)—but where I am comfortable admitting a dull yearning for material things. I sometimes, however, still regret the inherent apathy that prevents my ability to achieve.

It is late. The rain still falls like applause. It is all I can do to not wake my Boy and bring him to our porch. And remind him—again—that I love him even more than I love the rain. But he is sleeping more sound than I ever will. And, for now, it would be selfish of me to tell him that which he already knows.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


And my Boy kneeling at third, fucking around in the dirt as would any boy or man given the opportunity. He stands. Still looking down and unaware the hit ball bounces sharply toward him. Until he looks up suddenly and it is there. Stops the ball with a combination of hands, cheek, and collar bone. Grabs the ball and turns immediately toward the practice parents, spots me on the periphery at once and bellows with his unique brand of exaggeration, “I’m All right!!!” He makes a good strong throw to his coach. Hears the reassurances of Good Stop, Way to Stick with it, and Good Job, Emerson! His smile is forced. He has been more startled than hurt. His face maybe wants to cry a little. But the camaraderie and reassurances win. He returns to an infielder’s stance. Looks briefly down and then up. I know he wants to draw stories in the dirt. Who wouldn’t? His face doesn’t want to cry anymore. Mostly not.

Sometimes his courage breaks my heart.