Breaking Dad

I have found pride in the oddest of places. Once in an acting exercise my partner was tasked with giving me a criticism of some sort. He said, “you play at being dumb, so people won’t know how smart you are”. I took this as a compliment, and although I know that it wasn’t, it still feels like one.

Professional psychologists call this reaction ‘being thick’. I’ve done very little research, so trust me on this. The point is that I found pride in a statement I should not have.

This leads me to the reason for my post. Recently during dinner my eldest daughter did something that caused my wife and I to laugh, a lot. My eldest took this and immediately began to milk it in every way she could. The reanimation of this now dead joke went on for several minutes.

I looked over the table and asked my daughter, “do you know what this is?”, as I pantomimed milking a cow. My response of “its you, milking that joke”, came hard on her answer of “no”.

Her response was as quick as a light switch bringing brilliance to the dark.

Without pause she retorted, “No, its a latter, so you can get over it”.

This to some may seem disrespectful. To me, it is more accurate proof of her lineage than any DNA test.

Sarcasm is a soul flower that can be beautiful, brilliant, stinky, thorny, and poisonous.

I’ll teach her to be an apothecary with all the ingredients. How to brew up witticisms, stew snark into a boil, use sarcasm as a salve for tension, and consult with her on the chemistry of the come back.

Snark is the family business of sorts.

I’m Breaking Dad.

Jimmie G.

 

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Nomads in the Village

Generations of laughs and loss. A brilliant surgeon, a broken actor, a retired dancer, a protestor in search of direction, a carpenter in search of a flock, great moms, new daughters, reluctant dads, a fourth son, and a litter of grandchildren.

My mother-in-law lays sleeping on a twin sized bed, happily crowded out by her grand-daughter. She seems content to doze on the sliver of real estate she’s been leased.

Quietly I close the door so my morning prep for work won’t disturb her.

Our days are so much easier when the grand-parents are around.

Autonomy and the nuclear family seem post-apocalyptic now.

Pack up your bags I say. Move back to the Village.

Jimmie G


Daily Post: Mind Reader

 

The Thirsty Alien

The family was sleeping and I wanted to get a run in before breakfast. I was a happily disorientated by the smell of bacon and coffee. The enticing smell followed me to the front door, where I sat to put on my shoes. I half jokingly thought it might be a pre-cursor to a heart attack.

I came out the front door and immediately pissed myself. There at the end of the drive way was a silver ship. Standing outside was a tall grey creature with eyes the size of dinner plates.

I can only imagine how wide his sight lines were, or how much of the visual spectrum he could take in. HE. I have no idea if he was a he or a she. I just can’t say it. I never believed in God until I saw that obviously alien creature on my lawn one summer morning.

There were no words exchanged, but rather, a type of empathic probing, so at least that part satisfies Hollywood predictability.

She was confused, a little scared, awestruck, thirsty. Thirsty was the strongest emotion. She had a deep thirst that was the lead in a dance with all the other emotions.

She needed something that could help her understand. My mind rested on one thing I though would help. I went back inside to my bookshelf and brought her back a single book. There were many more I wanted to grab, that I wish I had at hand to lend, but I could only give one. I could feel it. Feel it without words.

I handed her A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, by Karen Armstrong.

I thought it would her her put the madness of humanity into some context. I don’t know how many other people were visited that morning. Or have been visited in other ways.

I do hope that someone gave her a funny book. Our sense of humor is probably the only thing that can save us.

Jimmie G


written in response to The Daily Prompt: Worldly Encounters 

 

Story Killer

The idea that just one piece of advice could dramatically salvage my many bad decisions suggests I am much closer to self actualization than I am. Is self actualization still a thing? With so much self improvement jargon added to the ‘who are you’ lexicon it can be hard to pass the vocab tests on Fridays. But thats just my scarcity paradigm on display.

So let me construct an abundance model and showcase a bit of advice I wish I had listened to years ago.

Write. Everyday.

Had I listened to what Ray Bradbury wrote so many years ago I may now be a published author. I would certainly be a more developed writer.

Since making a commitment to write more often this past January I have seen my story telling strengthen. My muse does not seem so lazy since I have become more active.

So I wish I would have taken this advice to heart as a young man. Not because I would be a financial success had I done so, but  I think my writing would be stronger. And so many of my characters and stories would not have withered away due to neglect.

If there were writing police I would certainly be a criminal due to the many times I have had an idea that I have thought to death. I have locked characters away in my mind, denying them the nourishment of alien eyes.

I have strangled plots by way of world building.

I have bludgeoned narratives with adjectives because my fingers are too numb to grasp action.

My descriptions are gardens so thick with flowers you cannot take a stroll.

Or at least they once were. I have been practicing with the pruning sheers and I am starting to get a feel for it.

One leaf at a time.

Jimmie G.

Powerful Suggestion

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

 

The Middle Aged Bed Wetter

In his dream he was hot tubing with Carol from accounting, the water wrapped around them both like frothy, warm blankets. Suddenly the water ran cold and itchy like icy wool. Scott woke to the realization he had just pissed himself. With the exception of a few legendary nights in undergrad, Scott hadn’t pissed himself since he was a kid.

Scott had regressed in a great many ways since finding his wife in bed with his business partner. Scott was lamenting the ruin of his lesbian fantasies when he noticed he was wearing spiderman pajamas.

What the…what did I do last night? Why do my legs look so short?

A wave of disorientation came over him as he stood from the bed.

Is this my…why am I…parents…why is my dresser so big?

Scott’s breath rattled in his throat, wet and heavy. His old NFL bedding was bright and new. A Pre-reboot Battlestar Galactica Viper Launch Station, complete with choking hazard, launch-able Viper. Scott’s eyes tickled with the expectation of what be buried under a pillow on his bed.

His hand lifted one of several pillows and his heart exploded nostalgia, and sci-fi exuberance, and kind of “I wish I hadn’t dismissed the possibility of a God, because this is some time-shifting craziness” type of fear.

There it was. The newest, most awesome toy any three year old boy could own in 1974. J.I. Joe with Kung Fu Grip.

He grabbed the toy. Real or not he wanted to play with the action figure again. There was one last test to confirm he had gone bat shit crazy.

The walk to the bathroom was a long ten steps. The wooden step stool was at the base of the sink just as like when he was a kid. The Mexican tile he thought outdated and garish seemed fresh and daring.

Scott slowly opened his eyes and was met by a young boy he knew only from pictures. He spit expletives at the mirror but it was no use. All he could see was 1974. He had broken his mind somehow.

His mother barged in suddenly. None to pleased at the language she heard he three year old son using.

She was magnificent. Vibrant, young, beautiful, and alive. She wouldn’t die for seven more years.

Scott didn’t know what would happen if he screwed with the her timeline. Would he blow up the world if he stopped his mom from getting in the car on April 12, 1981? He sure as shit was going to find out.

The smile he wore stole away all her anger and she gave him a big hug. It was the happiest moment the three year old had felt in forty-three years.

Jimmie G.