Call me ‘Mud’, I guess.
I mean I don’t know, maybe that’s the right word, maybe it isn’t. Maybe ‘dumb’ is better. So call me dumb. I get called that a lot. Whatever.
Here I am though, just a regular person, a regular dude, a husband and a daddy and a man bumbling through my life shaking some good flakes over here/ sprinkling a little positivity dust over there and then somehow backing the whole station wagon out the driveway and squashing it all, messing things up with total and absolute clueless-ness.
There are times when it even seems that trying harder is just making things worse. Or that my ‘trying harder’ might actually be me ‘trying harder to fight it off.’ Like, it really took me a long long time to allow myself even a single moment to actually lift my big head up out of my particular flavor mud and face the fact that I could end up a single dad here before too long.
The particulars are the particulars and no one really cares and besides no one like me ever quite understands exactly ‘what the hell went wrong’ when it’s actually going wrong all around you at that very second; unless of course you got flat-out busted boinking the cute waitress from the joint down the road, in which case the chapter is pretty much writing itself and well, …that’s that.
My thing isn’t that neatly scripted though.
There’s no waitress. No sultry affair. Nothing interesting to really report; just your run-of-the-mill average sort of slow-motion implosion.
The real story here, from my vantage anyways, is this whole little sampler platter of single dadness that I have been pecking at here the last few days. See, I’m at the beach with my three year old daughter Violet, staying in a relative’s house with a few relatives, but mostly it’s been me and her doing our own thing. Her mom is home with our son Henry, still settling into the house we just returned to.
Now, I’ve done that sort of stuff before, hanging out with her for a while just the two of us, or even with Henry around and no Mom, but that was always at home, where things are so damn familiar I could even tell you what kind of sauce is splattered all over the inside walls of the microwave at any given moment. This, this has been different. Spending time with her in an unknown place, just two strangers in a strange land, I’ve had this goblin riding shotgun on my shoulder since we got here. He’s a pain in the ass too, always hissing in my earhole…
“Well now, Mister Single Guy! Mister Fat Guy Without A Wife/Soulmate/Lover/Parenting Partner/Friend!!!!! How do you like these apples??!! How do you like the lonesome vibe to all of this??!!! It’s so niiiiiiccce now isn’t it! Hahahahaha!”
And I swat at the little maggot, but he’s lightning fast and does his fly away before showing back up. So, I’m constantly left with this bizarre cloud of possibility/reality hanging over me, and over us. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a champion wave jumper coach this week, helping Violet up and over more waves than I ever thought I could physically endure.
And she has been in love with it, with all of this shore life.
We’ve been out on the beach in the slate grey of 8am, plopping broken clam shells into our pink plastic bucket and feeling as if each one was a hunk of long lost Pirate Gold. We’ve curled up together each evening, exhausted, on the pull out mattress while she giddily re-lives each and every moment of our day together and then simply passes out as if she was some rum-head who’d plum run out of steam. It’s been nothing short of magic, really. Just a little girl and her daddy spending awesome time together on the sandy edge of the forever sea.
Still, that thing, that freakin’ goblin has been here messing with me, too. And at times I’ve even made him nearly scratch his own eyeballs out with disappointment when I show him that I actually can be a good dude and not mess things up and hold my cool and shoot nothing but real love, pure as mountain moonshine, out into the world I’m passing through. I didn’t know if I could do it, man. I didn’t know if I had whatever it is inside of me. And I know this thing upon my shoulder didn’t believe I did.
But, all things considered, me and Violet smiled one helluva lot.
And I think I needed to know that, come hell or high water, that it was all still pretty damn possible after all.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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