Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Road Home

     There are times when I don't recognize myself in the mirror.  This happened last week.  I washed my hands at the sink, turned off the water and looked up to find a stranger staring at me.  The stranger startled me.  I spent the next few minutes staring at my reflection, trying to find some spark of recognition, but I didn't.  I felt disconnected.  I felt like a spectator, someone in the audience watching the eerie scene play out.  This feeling stuck throughout the rest of that night and the next day.  It was a sad mid-life-crisis sort of feeling that forced self-reflection and induced a light depression. 
     This happens to me every once in a while.  I think it may partly be due to how I think of myself.  I still feel like that immature twelve-year old who lived for the bright days of summer and the carefree freedom of growing up.  This should hardly be a surprise considering the address of this blog. 
     Despite the occasional episode of feeling lost or disconnected from who the scruffy, sleep-deprived, short-fused, worn down man-boy I have become, I have days like today; days when I feel a little more awake, as if I have been in a coma for years and am starting to near consciousness.  Beautiful days when the sun is shining and the temperature is just right.  Days when I get to spend time with Michelle, sitting under the stars together as a massive yellow moon rises behind us and later as she falls asleep against me as we watch a show.  Days when the boys laugh and play and do the most adorable things.  Days when I am awake enough to be cognizant of all I have and love.  Days when I recognize that person in the mirror because he is both the man and the boy.

"Give me the time to show how I have grown..."
           -Remy Zero

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Decisions and Delusions.

It is 1:46 in the a.m. and I can't sleep. I am moderately ill and I can't breathe very easily. I'm waiting for the sudafed and the niquil to kick in and I have no idea how to spell the names of those two medicines.
As of late I have been weighing the pros and cons of two career options I may or may not have in the future; finding it nearly impossible to figure out which is the better choice. And the contenders are: Option A. teaching high school history. This is something I have wanted to do for some years now and is what I am pursuing as a bachelor's degree. This job would allow me to do something I like and am passionate about, while possibly allowing me the summers off to write (which may or may not be a complete waste of time). Unfortunately, teaching will pay very very little and will not allow our family to live a very comfortable lifestyle and will most likely lead to a lot of stressing over finances.
Option 2. (those who know me will realize that the discrepancy between "A." and "2." is intention and how I roll). Taking over my dad's business. This career option would allow us to give our kids many more opportunities in life and allow for a much more comfortable lifestyle, though it is something that I have never really been interested in and I usually find quite boring. Choosing this option would make me feel like I am selling out. I wouldn't stress about money with this option, but I would probably stress over having to do something everyday that I am not fond of, dislike, am bored with, and/or hate.
Option A would make my family experience mostly negative aspects of the path while I would be the only one who would enjoy the benefits of such a career. Option 2 would leave me suffering the negative aspects, but allow my family to enjoy the positive things associated with the career.
I fear I have little choice, but to opt for my family's well-being and prosperous future. Anything else, though morally superior, professionally stimulating and thoroughly satisfying, would make me an extremely selfish person.
I must choose to sell out. I doubt either will be an option in the end.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter's Curse

Michael sat barefoot on the white sand, digging his toes into into the fine grainy ground. The cool ocean breeze kept his hair out of his face and filled his nose with that familiar scent of ocean and beach, smelling slightly fishy, yet pleasant. He watched as the dark clouds of grayish blue and purple blanketed the sky which watched over the ocean. He knew the rain was coming and decided it was time to head home, though he didn't mind getting caught in a downpour while riding his bike. He'd always liked getting soaked by rain; it made him feel alive. But it was a long ride and he planned on taking his time, so he grabbed his backpack and set out along the sand towards his bike.
As he walked along the sand he saw the little crabs disappear into their little holes in the sand. When he reached his bike he unlocked the chain and put it into his bag. He then took out his ipod, pulling the earphones up into his ears and selecting his summer mix. For as long as he could remember he had listened to music by season. There were just certain songs and styles of music that fit better with certain seasons, not to mention all the memories from seasons past that went along with each album. He jumped on his bike to Whiskeytown and set out along the bike path along the esplanade.
He cut through a small part of the city, passing the Pancakes in Paradise, which served the best pancakes in the area, and made his way to into the neighborhoods where the scent of jasmine hit him with all its overwhelming sweetness. Memories filled his mind. Memories of visits with the McGregors and even earlier ones of riding home through the back streets of an unfamiliar country he'd just arrived in, his companion having sprinted home on his bike, thus breaking the rules and leaving Michael alone to find his way back to the flat. He'd not remembered the route they'd taken, but only the general direction of the flat. Luckily he'd always been good with directions and finding his way back to places. But that ride back to 3/4 Broad Street alone had been one of the best he'd had in the two years he'd spent there. That was the first time he'd really smelled the jasmine as it filled his nose and senses that night.
But that was years many years. It took years for him to return to that country he'd loved so much, but he had finally made it. After a long life spent away he had returned and it seemed like little had changed. The ocean still gave him a peaceful feeling. The fruit bats still hung in swarms from lone groves of trees during the day and filled the evening skies. He could still eat all the meat-pies, vanilla slices, mangoes, and fish and chips that he wanted.
And so, he made his way back to a newer flat, through the hills and back roads, with the palms and jasmine lining his way and the Southern Cross to watch over him. It was his return that made him realize that those memories, with all the happiness and comfort they held, were somehow incomplete. His earlier experience here wasn't perfect. It wasn't until his return to Australia that he felt right. It was Marguerite that made the difference.

Holidays are all about undoing all the dieting and excercise you do leading up to them.

Oliver walked for the first time last night. We were visiting Andy, who'd just slipped on ice as he ran to get the present he'd gotten for Oliver, smashing his skull into the side of his house, when Oliver stood up. I moved a away from him and held out my hands. He took three steps, me pulling my hands away with each to keep encouraging him, before he fell. He took two more shortly after, but three remains his current high.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Professor hates my title.

In no way do I mean to offend anyone who smokes, but I have always hated the smell of cigarettes. To me, smoking is a habit I've never understood. It offers no actual benefits (people claim it gives you a buzz at first, but only a minimal one), instead offering only destruction to senses, appearance, and health. Smoking cigarettes turns fingernails and teeth yellow, deadens the senses of smell and taste, destroys the lungs and throat, and makes the smoker smell terrible.
That having been said, there are certain movies/actors that make smoking look like the coolest freaking thing to ever have been done by humans. Good Night, and Good Luck is the perfect example. Or Rebel Without a Cause, Fight Club, Stay, Rushmore (or any other Wes Anderson Movie)... I think you get the idea. Anyway, just sayin'. Not that I'm going to take it up, but I would be closer to looking cool if I did, right?

Friday, February 26, 2010


There were lyrics running through his head as he walked out of the school and into the bright, sunny spring afternoon. "The sugary smell of springtime," he thought; it seemed so fitting. Thanks, Ben, he thought, walking slowly and calmly down the front steps and onto the sidewalk. It's lyrics like yours that create the soundtrack to life's experiences. The cars in front of the school were parked in a semicircle, creating a sort of blockade between him and the parking lot. The sounds of life had faded and left only the chirping of a couple of robins and, what to anyone else would seem an uncomfortable silence. The lawnmower that had been running when he walked into the school ten minutes earlier lay quiet and abandoned on the nearby baseball field.

The man found the silence comforting, after all, he was the cause of it. He looked up, closing his eyes, and let the warm sunlight wash over his face. It was then that he heard the voice of the bullhorn, muffled at first, then growing in volume. This was quickly accompanied by the voices of what must have been dozens of people. He looked at the cars that separated him from the rest of the parking lot and saw the flashing red and blue lights, and about twenty pistols pointing out from the open car doors. "Drop your weapon and put your hands in the air!!!"
He looked down at the MP5 submachine gun in his hands. The noise of the crowd of people from behind the police cars was building and he felt the pressure again inside his head. "Why can't you be quiet," he said softly, his annoyance growing. "I just want the silence."

He sat down on the grass of the school lawn near the sidewalk, the gun still in his hands. He looked down at the gun, examining the side of it with seeming curiosity. "PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPON OR WE'LL SHOOT," came the booming voice again, the bullhorn making it sound like it was coming through a radio. "There's just too much noise," he whispered to himself. "I had to stop the noise."

He stood up slowly, the gun still in his hands, though pointed at the ground. "I just want some peace and quiet," he said, looking to the cars lined up in front of him. "I JUST WANT SOME QUIET!!," he said, raising the gun toward the bullhorn. Dozens of bullets tore through his flesh before he had time to raise his gun completely, each exploding out the back of his body followed by sprays of blood and pieces of organs, bone, and brain matter. His limp body fell to the ground, blood pooling instantly around it in the grass. The guns had stopped firing. No one spoke. There were no sounds. Just, silence.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Wish for Oz.

The text came from Michelle this morning when I was in the lab at school attempting to print off the dramaturg I'd stayed up all night writing. I'd left our warm flat no more than twenty minutes before to venture into the cold air of early February. Apparently our son decided to wait until I was gone to roll himself over for the first time. Figures.
He'd come very close to accomplishing this feat a few weeks before, but hadn't quite gotten his weight to shift. It was then that I realized that this is what fatherhood is. You may have seen the saying that, "Motherhood means touching poo." Well, fatherhood means missing out. I was lucky enough to be there for the first time he smiled at us, but I will most likely be at work when he crawls for the first time, or at school when he says his first word, or conducting research on quantum theory when he says his first word.
Anyway, along with a severe lack of sleep, this merely added to an interesting day.