Monthly Archives: June 2015

Every Day, for Once


I dreamed of Michael last night.

Like 99.4% of my dreams, I don’t remember the details. Just that we are always doing normal stuff, kids killing time. And when I wake up, I feel uplifted, charged for a nebulous reason. Like we’d just spoken on the phone, or I just left his place.

He always charged me a little. Perhaps because we geeked over the same things — The Simpsons and Star Wars. And we both knew way too much about documentaries and sports.

But I don’t remember those times. Like when we were playing tennis and he dove on a cement court and was a wounded ring bearer. Or the time we met a derelict woman who spewed accusations that we, er, knew each other biblically. Or his medicated voicemails. Or the day he told me he wanted to be a donor. They would all become fond dinnertime stories. But not the taproot of these dreams. preop

Nor do I think I replay the dark chapter, when Michael set sail for Mortal Waters. Not the time he told us of the brain tumor. Or when he came to see mom and downplayed falling in the living room. Or kissing him on the forehead goodbye in the wheelchair. I don’t see those visions revisited, either.

Instead, we are always doing day-to-day things. Working side-by-side in a theater; cracking up at crappy fast food joints; frantically searching for our tickets before we’d walk into a premiere (Michael once toyed with legally naming himself Plus One).

preopWell, shit.

No wonder I feel warmed by the dreams. How can you not when the everyday feels extraordinary?

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Dog Dad Afternoon


I have cohabited with canines for at least the last 25 years. So, and I mean this literally, I’ve been a dad for more than a quarter century.

But Sunday was the first time I felt Father’s Day.

Perhaps because it was the first without my father. Or maybe I’ve finally teetered into that creepy ‘dog guy’ zip code, which is ‘cat lady’ adjacent.

Regardless, Fortuna blessed me with something Hallmark could never sell, let alone sloganize.

I was in Big Bear, which is so jaw-droppingly beautiful I lack the vocabulary to insult it with a description. Esme was there, too, because Esme finds doggie daycare living as packed as dimples on a raspberry.

As we sat in downtown Big Bear, underneath the dwindling shade of a dwindling tree, two women, perhaps in their 50’s, waddled past, their arms struggling to hoist the bags from trendy mountain-town shops.

Then, I hear one lady say to her shopping pal, “I can’t stand the look of Boston Terriers. French bulldogs are so much prettier.” Said it not to me, but in a loud, nasally squawk to her friend. As if she usually talked over traffic.

I didn’t do the heroic thing. I didn’t get in her face, raise my voice, point a finger or shred her with a quip about how hypocritical it was to critique appearance when you’ve got the figure of a fire hydrant, too (though Esme doesn’t try layer).

Instead, I watched, mouth agape, as they strolled past. Either not realizing I heard them, or not caring. Suddenly, I thought, ‘So that’s why parents beat each other silly at Little League anything.’

Esme, of course, was the maturest of the bunch. She was watching an actual horse, pulling a cart of tourists through downtown.horsie And her feelings didn’t seem nearly as fazed as mine. She’s sleeping now, and doesn’t know I’m writing this. But, on this fading Father’s Day, a message to fashion critics. And that lady:

Take a look at that top picture.

And try to tell me of beauty.

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