Saturday, September 29, 2007

heard ambulances, tonight, after i'd come home from the mix, carterville, where our latest gig was. sat on the stoop for a while waiting to see if the ambulances came around to where i could see them, our street; they seemed very close, but i could never see them. my guess was, they were about a half mile away when they stopped.

checked the bed to see if my teenager was home, and he was, or at least appeared to be; at wal-mart i'd gotten the other guy adapters to adjust to life in france, and was therefore just late enough that the first one fell asleep waiting. i'd let some of them down, i realized- because i couldn't get home early enough to at least start a movie (the fifteen-yr-old is in the habit of falling asleep in almost all movies anyway, as they aren't interactive enough- or maybe it's just that i'm picking the wrong movies)...the others, because i was gone being a fiddler, most of a saturday evening.

in the wal-mart parking lot i'd been dunned by a young black guy, supposedly 400 miles from home (chicago), with family and friends, stranded down here, and i'd given him a couple of bucks since i figured, it could have been me. it was most of what i'd made at the mix, though it was an interesting night musically, recorded by the place, but poorly attended by the town of carterville. the weather is absolutely gorgeous now; summer is on the brink of fall; the leaves begin to turn, but it's still warm in the days, and fall's clear light shimmers on crab orchard lake on the way over there...all the world's wiser cultures have holidays now- they enjoy the splendor, the shout-out of nature's "show your colors" month- but we wait until january to take our month off, and have, instead, our busiest season now. the papers pile up; students fill up the weblogs which i then have to grade; other demands take up my precious time and force my grading into the wee hours. but worse, a summer of postponing playing outside, being outside with friends & family, thinking, it's so wretched out, in summer, so steamy and uncomfortable, but now it's beautiful, and i have no time.

things will clear up a bit, even if i have to wait for thanksgiving, which is still mild and nice here, still a touch of color. things will clear up, but my kids will be older, or will be gone, or will have passed right through the stages they're in now- the ones i wanted to celebrate. one makes his s's backwards...draws batman drawings with serious frowns going...one roars like a lion- that's what we should do with him on hallowe'en- i'm sure- one's into the new halo 3, and the next is suspended in france, needing the adapter i just got him...three of my wife's are married or getting married soon....and finally, the oldest is blogging away, sipping wine at the edges of the continent.

i say this because a cousin, oldest of my cousins, has a brain tumor, and things are looking bad. i missed my chance to see him earlier in the year, but it was a slim chance, life being as busy and crowded as it is, so i haven't seen him in years. among the things that fall by the wayside, with my present lifestyle- a game of ball, outdoors with the boys- regular contact with distant cousins & parents- ability to be more involved in planning, such things as hallowe'en, a care package, or a birthday party; even more regular blogging, which has been good for me, and led to all kinds of stories, and active, semi-productive writing...i've been set back a little, disorganized by one of those colds that sneaks in through a two-year-old in the new school year, when everyone's in his face and they exchange colds like you would exchange a handshake at a welcome reception. and this has left some things scattered, some things undone, some things not tended to very well, including the people in my life, but also a truck, suspended across town, unsold, about to turn 40, a few piles of homework, laundry and dishes, and a garage in complete disorder.

way out in the country today, where we'd gone for a little fresh air, and a view from atop a water tower, i pulled the van a little too far forward, put a scratch in the bumper, and ripped a plastic plate-holder in the front. it was nothing, of course, a mark i can live with, but it rattled me, as if i'm driving around in my sleep, or not knowing where the bumper is. what are the limits? can't seem to give up blogging, which i love in spite of its inherent dangers (and in spite of my inability to fill them up with fantastic pictures, like jose and peg); can't give up music, which pulls together my spirit. my cousin's setback has really brought it home to me. most of us are too busy to even go out there- and even if we could, it would be a lousy time- we couldn't even really play a good tune, in the limited time available. maybe i should get in touch with my bumpers, drive more carefully- and be grateful those ambulances don't toll for me. life goes on, as the cd, and the song go- but, you either learn your lesson, or you don't. i am really really sorry, craig, and i need to find a way to tell you how i feel. a hallmark card doesn't seem to be satisfying the feeling.

2 Comments:

Blogger Peggy said...

It must have been such a heartsink to hear those sirens so close to where you and loved ones conduct your lives.

When that happens, like you I kiss the heads of sleeping children and then move on. One can't live in fear.

Autmn in the midwest is always so perfect. I hope you find some time to jump in a pile of leaves.

1:10 AM  
Blogger J-Funk said...

Dad,

I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin, I hope you can find the right way to communicate your deepest sympathy (this is hard!). I also send my love to him, whom I've never met, and to you, since it is such a hard thing to hear about and deal with.

I like how you write and write about Wal-Mart and in real life you go there and have your own set of experiences there.

I'm so proud of you that you are continuing to play in your band and blog and write stories and be a devoted father all at the same time.

11:08 PM  

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