So on Tuesday, this happened:
Just thought you all should know, you know, just how cool it is to be reading me…
Thank you Tracy =)
Simon’s 16 years-old.
My first-born, when he was first born, lay there on the heating-table as the nurse looked to me, saying “He’s yours – you can touch him.” I recently introduced him to the (somewhat painful) world of job applications, though it feels as he was only born a few years ago.
Simon has the power.
Hannah’s 15, and Hell on Wheels. Hell. On. Wheels. A strong young woman who desires popularity, while understanding the power of true friendship. She’s gonna dazzle the world with her persona, a trait she gets – oddly enough – from me.
Hannah has the power.
Ian’s 13. “Last but not least” never had a truer ring, and to me, he’s a Heart Of Gold on two legs – two very short legs. He keeps us four in check, making damned sure that I’m always on top of my game.
Ian has the power.
I named them with the following criteria – each should have names rooted in biblical history (“Ian” being Gaelic for “John”), and none should have names that could be altered in common conversation.
All three bless my Life.
All three lift me.
All three have the power.
And all three,
Will someday use it.
Three (3) notes concerning this post:
2) Losing all punk rock cred, I never actually was that much of a Patti Smith fan. I mean, I caught “Because The Night,” and thought to m’self, “Well, that was rather nice,” before moving on. Hey, it happens. Truth be told, I wasn’t all that sold on Iggy Pop either.
3) There are three people in my life who continually inspire me, unconditionally love me, and make me a better man by their mere presence. They are currently walking with me through the hardest challenge of my adult life thus far, and I felt it was once again time to give them their due respect. Even IF I blew the 100 word limitation by a straight 100% in the process. Being their dad is never a pain, and always a pleasure.
3.5) Well. I suppose we can all safely assume that that last bit is a *touch* over-the-top, unadulterated and biased b.s., right…?
I figured you could all use a break from mine for a change, and instead simply take some time to enjoy a little ditty Bobby Darin didn’t make famous, way back when he first recorded it.
Kick it, B.D…
Today’s impromptu post is brought to you by Daily Prompt‘s call for an Opposite Day. So against my usual grain, I posted impromptu-ishly, I refrained from any and all pontification or “fiction,” and I posted not (1), but (2) pictures of me. Here’s the second:
It was a flying swing-sort of thing, but I didn’t catch the name. Hell, I didn’t catch a lot of stuff on that day.
But it was a perfect day none the less. True, Mother Nature tried to bring us down, with some skies initially grey. And a certain other also tried to bring me down. But even her best efforts at pissery melted painlessly away, under the sun and the Love of the day.
The sun, the Love, and the perfection were all experienced by myself, my three, plus a friend of Hannah’s, at a little 5 & Dime theme park up my way called Fantasy Island. Now if you’re anything like me, you can NOT go to this park without hoping, “Maybe this time. Maybe this time Mr. Rourke will be waiting for me, wearing white and looking drop-dead Mexican sexy, as he welcomes me to his drop-dead-not-Mexican-but-just-as-sexy island, granting me a wish.” As you might have guessed, this visit did no more to yield that desire becoming a reality than any of the other visits, but as the day strolled itself along, this time I found that it didn’t really matter too much at all.
It was all good, and every moment was cherished, me with them, and they with me. No longer little children – like the last time we had gone – they’d grown now, matured, and the “kiddie rides” took on a whole new meaning. A new flavor. Obviously, the ones that required you to be 4′ or under were passed by altogether this time (me, being dragged by the three plus one away from the Lil’ Boat Merry-Go-Round. Can you imagine? I mean, c’mon! They use REAL water for God’s sake! That ride kicks ASS!) But we still all smiled like idiots, as we rode down the Giant Slide, potato sack under butt. We still all pretended to have zombie and/or cyborg horses (I mean, they DO all have posts struck straight through them, after all) on the carousel. And we all – every last one – pretended that bumper cars were the vehicles used exclusively by average older Americans, in the effort of learning how to drive.
We enjoyed the Crazy Mouse (a roller coaster best described as being engineered by the boys from Devo, while being high on paint thinner), and the ferris wheel, but it was that damned flying swing-sort of thing that would eventually provide me with the inspiration (FINALLY!) for this particular post.
You see, the ride is simple. A swing. That goes in a circle. No big deal, right? Right, unless you realize that this particular swing is about 800 gazillion feet up in the air. I went only because I told myself – as I was herding the three plus one into the car – that this trip, I would “Just. Let. Go.” I would live, instead of worrying about dying. I would be me, instead of being scared about being yelled at by someone because I was being me. So when the kids said “let’s go,” I swallowed my trepidation, and got on the swing.
And I loved it. Like, “Jesus pulling on my non-existent hair just so it could blow in the wind one more time” loved it. The first time I went with Hannah’s friend. Which was perfect, because she has no reason to love me, yet still she apparently does (she calls me “Grand Pee,” only after she decided that “Dr. Pee Wee” was too formal). The second time I went with Ian. Which was perfect because, well, because he’s Ian. And the last time I went with, well…
He told me his name on the flying swing-sort of thing, but I didn’t catch it. Hell, I didn’t catch a lot of stuff on that day.
You see, with this ride, they always need exactly an even number of riders to lift off. And this time, he and I were both odd men out. So we sat together.
He was O.G. (do they still say that?), but one of the mentally handicapped variety (do they still say that?) A good kid, but I must admit, a bit creepy on the surface as well. Creepy as in, it wasn’t until we reached the 800 gazillion feet range that I realized, only a metal bar and a plastic seat were keeping me alive. But I swallowed a second helping of trepidation, ignored old tendencies and old fears about such things, and just spoke to the kid.
Now to be sure, we will not be pen pals anytime soon, but we did both come to realize that flying is a pretty danged cool power to have, and if God was willing, we would both ask for it. I also came to understand that even “a bit creepy on the surface” people just want to be talked to, and treated with basic human respect, in order to be happy.
The ride ended, and the kid left. And that was that.
I still don’t know his name, but I will always remember the one stage in our “journey” – after he had pointed out his family members in the adjacent swings – where I motioned across the expanse of sky to another swing, and noting the (2) beautiful young men who sat within (both having had the good sense to remove their shoes before the ride began), being able to say to my momentary friend, “those are my two boys. I love them.”
I went to Fantasy Island to spend some time with my children. But I left with the realization that they weren’t my children, they were now their own. And they had decided to come to the same park for the sole purpose of spending time with me. And I remembered just how blessed I was, and am, to have that sort of Love in my life.
Thank God for grey skies that become blue.
Thank God for icy tones that melt painlessly away.
And thank Him as well, for those nameless, yet liberating flying swing-sort of things.
Now, if He would only see Himself to just allowing for taller folk to be able to ride the Lil’ Boat Merry-Go-Round…
Think I’m gonna throw up…
I think I’m gonna…
Well, don’t do it HERE!
Then pull over.
I can’t! We’re gridlocked in traffic. Just open the door. No one will notice…
What happened? You’re not drunk already, are you?
No, just nervous.
Listen, understanding it’s your wedding, this sort of thing does happen almost every day.
But not to ME!
OK honey, I know. But when two men love each other like you and Dave do, well, it’s just natural, you know?
It’ll be all right darling. No rain today, OK?
OK dad. No rain today.
Even in the worst of times, Love prevails. This is a very special mash-up for me, between 100 Word Song and Friday Fictioneers – along with inspiration from k~ over at Bloggit Write – in celebration of the death of DOMA. In celebration of the victory of Love.
Mind you, I’m none to sure why gay folk would want to get married. But in a growing number of states waking up to the truth, they at least now the right to make the same mistake as the rest of us; and the right to make mistakes is a beautiful thing…
This week’s song was chosen by some crazy Darin fan (I know, they’re ALL crazy!): “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today” by Robert Walden Cassotto
Yesterday, I saw a new icon on my notification tab. Well; I thought it was a new icon at any rate. Clicking on it, I realized that I actually had seen it before, exactly one-year prior in fact, as the following popped into existence…
That’s right. As of the 27th of May, this lil blog of mine is now two years old. And to celebrate, I got it nothing.
No special posts written, no photos taken, no quotes retrieved. No reviews readied, nor songs chosen. Nothing. Hell, I didn’t even realize that its anniversary was coming due.
What kind of ass am I?
I mean, over the past two years, “As Long As…” has allowed me to share with you my father’s passing, my children’s growth, the struggles I’ve had with my faith, the recent and unexpected death of my 17 year marriage, the oft time battles I’ve had with depression, and of course the efforts that have stock-piled, resulting from my dreams of one day becoming a pretend writer of some sort.
Starting with just one follower – my bestest friend ever whom I’ve never met – this kid has grown slowly to a little over 230 more of you since. And I am as grateful to you all, as I am questioning of your literary taste… More importantly though, since its inception “As Long As…” has provided me with peace and solace during my dark hours. A place to scream, bitch, bemoan, play and flex my mental muscles and – to my albeit grateful surprise – it has brought me strong friendships that have only grown, as the challenges of life have become harder, though eventually overcome. In short, this blog has given me more than a lot of living, breathing people I know have.
And I didn’t even realize that its anniversary was coming due.
What kind of ass am I?
Hey you, As Long As I’m Singing, thank you my friend. I appreciate it… all of it.
As I noted previously, I didn’t have an applicable quote, nor a song chosen for this event. You know, in part because I totally forgot that this event was even to be an event. But I figured the following two will work well enough. The quote, simply because it’s about the truest thing I’ve ever read, and something I am coming to believe. And the song because, as you are an apple that fell pretty close to its somewhat creative tree, I feel it’s a good choice to describe how I feel about us both.
Happy 2nd, As Long As I’m Singing. Here’s to year 3 =)
“Bad things can happen,
and often do–
but they only take up a few pages of your story;
and anyone can survive a few pages.”
~ James A. Owen
When someone as gifted as Ela asks you to write with her, you do NOT say no. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you jump at the chance. And, since I am almost exactly like me, that is exactly what I did.
Now, I think we’ve all come to grips with the fact that I don’t really “do” prose well, whereas Ela is really quite gifted at it. As a result, she and I decided to be creative in working our way around this slight issue, and in the tale we crafted, I hope you’ll be as pleased with the results as we are…
Death sat at the edge of the bed, slack-jawed and stone-faced. Well, more stone-faced than usual; as the crumpled piece of paper formed an impenetrable barrier between It and Its intended cache for this night.
Why had It done it? Why had It read that infernal letter in the first? An effortless matter, this should have been. Just one more soul, ready to be extracted. One more life, simply at its wick’s end.
And yet, this time was different. This time, as Death glowered over this weak and puny, yet oddly contented man, a strange new feeling came. A crawling, warming sensation previously unknown to It. Looking at this creature – this sheet-white man-ape of no previous regard – It felt something akin to what It imagined affection might be described as.
Shivering, It dismissed the thought altogether and slowly rose from the bed, in order to do what It should have done in the first. But right before doing so, It once again did what It shouldn’t have done in the first, and glanced at the letter once more.
That damned letter. With its presence, Death knew that this man-ape with the childish grin, would live on. Well, at least until it was her time to be taken too. Sighing resignedly, It stalked forth from the room, forever more trying to forget the words that It had read:
You have waited for me an eternity
Trying to see me in a million faces
Yet you never could, for it was not the time for us.
Tonight sleep peacefully knowing that the nightmare is over
And that I am on my way to you.
Tomorrow, when you will open your eyes
You will see my eyes mirroring you.
No pain, no chain, not even Death
Will stop me this time.
I thought I saw you millions of times
In millions of lives, my Love.
But every time I lost the illusion
Like a smoke scattered above the frozen waters of my broken heart.
For you were nowhere else but here all the time, waiting for me.
Tomorrow, when you will open your eyes
We will finally start to live.
Let the past die and rise from this tomb of agony
For Tomorrow is here
And I am coming.”
Please follow Ela at MeMyselfAndEla, a wonderful and gifted poet-writer who speaks eloquently from her heart.