Tuesday, July 27, 2010

28


Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 28 years old. You might think that is old. If you do, you are stupid, because it is not old. 28 is a very small, young number.

There are 28 days (usually) in the SMALLEST month of the year, February. 28 days is nothing compared to the 31 days in December - (now, 31 - that's old!)

28 is also the number of dominoes in a domino set, the world's SMALLEST game.

In math, 28 is the second PERFECT NUMBER. I don't know exactly what that means, but it gives one pause, doesn't it?

There are 28 letters in the Danish alphabet. Soak that shit in.

So, yeah, I'm more then happy with turning 28. There was nothing special about 27, the not-so-perfect-number.

28. It's not old, it's small. It's perfect. It's Danish.

Friday, July 23, 2010

MY DAD


Years ago, when my Dad was stationed in South Korea, he jumped in front of a speeding train.

He had a wife waiting for him at home, and two children. My sister was two. I was one.

After he
lifted the five-year-old boy from the tracks and brought him to safety, the boy cried uncontrollably. It happened so fast that the onlookers, and there were many, thought that the both of them were crushed underneath the train's massive frame. But they were alive, and the boy ran home, which was on a hill overlooking the train. My Dad never saw him again. He did receive a medal though, and my sister and I are photographed with him on the front page of an army newspaper. He was 22 years old. Six years younger then I am now.

This rea
lly happened.

So did this: when we were stationed in I
llinois, a big man, over 300 pounds, was choking to death at the side of the road. A cop was doing everything he could to save this man, but he was too small and the man too big. People drove by, people watched. The big man was going fast, he was going from pink to purple, dying right there. My Dad, and another Sargent, through efforts I can't fathom, were able to expel the piece of hot dog from his throat.

I've heard these stories, I've seen the meda
ls. And I admired these things, and I admired my Dad. But I've never seen it myself, until this week.

My Dad doesn't
look for trouble, he was just watering his plants. It was almost ten at night. The VW Bug pulled up across the street, four houses down. A sports car, a souped-up Jaguar, high beams blasting, was right on it's tail. A young man jumped out of the VW, screaming:

"What do you want from me? Why are you fo
llowing me?"

Whoever was in the Jaguar said nothing. He simp
ly revved the engine in response. Inching closer. The high beams lit the whole neighborhood.

I was on Facebook (natch) when my Dad asked me to come outside with him. We inched c
loser to the cars as he explained the situation.

He ca
lled out to the young man, "Are you okay?"

The young man nodded. He to
ld us that the Jaguar had been following him for miles, after he yelled at him for driving too slow. He wanted to go home but didn't want the Jaguar to follow him there. The Jaguar backed up, then came forward. The young man said he wasn't scared, even though he was.

We waited across the street as the young man ca
lled the police. Inside the Jaguar, I was picturing a drug dealer or a thug, maybe five of them, holding machine guns and machetes, craving retribution. I imagined a TV newscast, with breaking news:

"Tragedy strikes a quiet neighborhood, as a father and son are gunned down, two men at the wrong p
lace, at the wrong time."

I've been trained by the city to avoid things
like this. To keep on walking in the sign of trouble. So it was completely alien to me to see my Dad walk right into the heart of trouble, right to the VW. He told me to stay on the other side, that it was better if we were spread out. More than 10 years out of the military, and he was still considering tactical maneuvers.

I watched as he ca
lmly stood with the young man, then walked over to the Jaguar. He would tell me later that he told the driver that he admired what he did with his car, how he always loved the Jaguar. The driver, not the insane drug lord I imagined, a tired man, not that much older then my Dad, and not that much different either, replied with a simple thank you.

My Dad did not take sides. He did not esca
late the situation. He did not pretend to know who was right or try to barge into this as a masculine force, as so many lesser people would have.

He was a ca
lming barrier between these two sides, his presence, his insistence on being there, stopped any escalation.

"I just wanted to make sure they didn't ki
ll each other," he told me, after the police arrived and took over.

And he did, when a
ll the neighbors around us pretended not to hear. Because he knows, even though he might not have the words for it (that's my job), that it's all about people being there for people. He knew it in Korea, when the boy danced stupidly on the train tracks; in Illinois, when the man was choking to death at the side of the road; in twenty years in the army; as nearly thirty years as a father; it's all about being there. I wish I could say I always live by these words, but my Dad is a better man then I. Which is fine, because he's a better man then most.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My love letter to Wireless



Dear Wireless,

I fucking
love you. I wish you were here with me, always. I took you for granted before, and all that you did for me. The instant gratification. The streaming videos. Hulu. Facebook. IMDB. I never knew how much I Wikipedia'd that shit until I wasn't able to Wikipedia that shit. Blogging is nothing without you.

I have you now, brief
ly, and I don't want to let you go. Run away with me. No one has to know. We will have beautiful babies and tan on the beach. I fucking love you, baby. IN THAT WAY. I know, it's weird. But I want to go all the way with you. IN THAT WAY. We can make it classy, I'm a classy guy. I'll bring bubbly. That's champagne, not the cheap shit either. Tell me what you think. No pressure. I will dream of you, until our next meeting.

Love Always,


Tim

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Things I Forgot I Missed

A clear night sky, stars everywhere. Seeing old friends. Transversing the backyard with my Dad, watching him worry. That stupid dog jumping all over me. The Walmart I worked at. The good people there.

The sky.

Joking with my sister like we are the only ones who get it, because we are the only ones who get it. Starbucks with my family, us ordering a hundered different things, coffees, and chais, and muffins, and scones, my Dad watching the car the whole time, that stupid dog inside it, my Dad hoping that he's not scared and won't be kidnapped. Does he mean dognapped? No, he mean's kidnapped.

That sky.

Jack in the Box, my God, how I missed you. Driving aimlessly until the aim is to drive. Mt. Rainier, just there, just sitting there. Hearing my parents laugh. They have the most wonderful laugh. I forgot how much I missed their laugh. Chanting with my Mom before sleep. That dog lying next to us when we do chant, our voices soothing to him, that stupid, loyal, wonderful, beautiful dog.

And that sky. That beautiful, star-sprinkled sky.