Chaotic Preservation: Happy Birthday, Dad!


Today’s highlights:
1. I might be coming down with a cold. Scratch that, I am coming down with a cold. So I purchased honey, a lemon, a wonky sweet potato, a candle and a jalapeño to stave off the cold symptoms.

2. I really want to poop, but can’t.

3. When I sat down at a coffee shop to do homework, the subject of sobriety, within myself triggered by and sprouting through a classmate’s entire packet of poems, and another one who isn’t sober at all and talks a crap ton about drinking, and another one who briefly talks about drinking but mostly about raising children.

4. All of these readings synchronistically connect to the fact that it’s my father’s birthday. Poetry about raising children and drinking and quitting drinking and trying to write or make music all pretty-like. This is the cycle of mine and my father’s lives. The apple fell close and far from the tree. Sometimes I roll towards that trunk, and sometimes I move 2000 miles away to humor my solitary, lonesome career and artistic ambitions. But even that distance doesn’t keep the core and seeds and peelings climbing back up the hill in the orchard of being like your parents.

5. It was chilly and windy, more so than it has been in probably over a month. Hence, probably why I have the cold.

So my Pops was born today. If he hadn’t have been, I wouldn’t be writing this. This is the first birthday without the presence of his father. At least the living, human body-mind presence of my late Grandpa Ernie who passed away last April.
Life and death. Parents and children. Family is a hinge on time, identity, where we came from and where we’re going. I’m sitting in my apartment in San Francisco, feeling guilty about not having gotten out yet, in the sunny scenery I’m now facing, my desk pressed against the bay window, the horizon of the skyline meets the line of trees, and there’s a little red peep- if I put my fingers, the index finger and thumb up to measure, it’s like a centimeter, about half the length of a penny. That’s the tippy top of the Golden Gate Bridge I can see from this view.
The leaves stay green here. I imagine they’re gone back home in Missouri, where he still lives.  Bare branches with crunchy brown corpses on the ground. Speaking of green, I’m eating steamed brussel sprouts, kale, and spinach. The throat is scratchy, coughing occasionally, head aches, just gargled with warm salt water, and am now ingesting these green vestibules of vitamin C to stave off the symptoms of a cold and to prevent it from becoming a full-fledged bedridden illness. I want to be well. I ponder why though. I get wafts of the scent of sickness. I want to stay in bed, forget about the anxieties, the fear of being behind, the loathing of looking in the mirror and seeing that I’m aging. It gets to me, more and more, that I’m getting older, and not happier. I’m more disciplined, less angsty woe-is-me, but still have that lingering screaming from my soul that jolts, bouncing and flailing around in my skull, the question “What the hell am I doing I here?”
I can answer that question partially. I know why I’m here. Because my dad was born, and to cop out on a sentimental note because I don’t know how else I can un-obnoxiously continue with existential circular thinking. Mark Allred is a cool dude who’s turned into one of my best friends. I love him, am grateful to him and hope I am at least somewhat of who he had in mind when he found out he was going to have a daughter.
Happy birthday.

2 thoughts on “Chaotic Preservation: Happy Birthday, Dad!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s