Daddy never sleeps at ni-ight

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This title is, of course, from The Who’s “Squeeze Box,” but in my case, it happens to be true. Among the many wonderful things I’ve inherited from my dad is a proclivity for insomnia. I’ve also inherited a sense of humor that can err on the side of crass, an inherent friendliness, a love of duck (sorry vegans), a sentimental streak—as evidenced by the mounds of memorabilia I sorted through over the past several weeks—a talent for singing  both enthusiastically and free from the constraints of proper tune or lyrics, and much, much more.

I love you, d!

(mima, please let him know he got a “shout-out”, as he’d say)

I have the great fortune of seeing my dad on a regular basis. The photo above is from Bash Bish Falls, which I first visited many years ago when he took me (us?) hiking there.

I wish all of the fathers reading this a very happy Father’s Day.

Today I’m also reminded that I have many friends and cousins who’ve lost their dads, some many years ago and some quite recently. I imagine this day is incredibly difficult whether or not you celebrated it much growing up . The whole world  (the corporate one, anyway) just assumes you have a father—and that you have a good relationship with him. News programs devote entire segments to what to get dad for Father’s Day. Chalkboards outside restaurants invite you to bring  him in for brunch or dinner. Stores create elaborate displays of Father’s Day gifts. Reminders are everywhere.

So to my friends (and cousins) whose dads are no longer with us, I send you love and strength today and every day. If you’re in my life, your dad did a hell of a job. Your mom too, but we’ll talk about her some other time. Unless she (or you) is a single mom; happy day to all the badass women out there going it alone with strength and grace, however imperfect it may be at times. We are all imperfect.

This past week was the 14th anniversary of a very close friend’s passing, my sweet Laura. Though my grief over her is not nearly as raw as it once was, she is never far from my mind. I think about her in some context more days than not.

Such is the bittersweet truth of loving deeply and often. With love comes the risk of loss. Let that not be a deterrent, though, because life is much richer when shared.

 

(You Will) Set The World On Fire

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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -E. Roosevelt

I would like to put in an official request that this be a really, really good week, but I’m not sure who is in charge of such matters. I was under the impression that I was until last Tuesday, when circumstances and miscommunication led me back to a place of insecurity and panic that I thought I’d finally eradicated from my sense of self. I hadn’t, though I’d found some sort of tourniquet to keep them from bleeding out and affecting my everything. And as I am capable of veering toward black and white thinking, much as I try to convince others not to view the world as such, my missteps begat greater missteps and my lack of productivity one day rendered me inert for several more. It needn’t be this way. Moderation. Everything in moderation. Except cigarettes – they are never necessary. I shall repeat this every time I crave one.

A friend of mine was on set with David Bowie during the filming of Zoolander. Bowie is one of his many musical heroes – this friend is himself a musical genius who has many heroes and has played with some of them. On break they both stood by craft services and Friend tried to think of an opening line. Bowie lit up and Friend quickly said, “You still smoke?!” to which DB responded “Everything in excess, man.”

Thus far this week is shaping up to be a better one. Good. Let’s keep it this way.

I overheard these two lofty statements today. Different conversations:

“I’m mad at the world.”
“I should really do Brooklyn more. I love doing Brooklyn.”

Being mad at the world must be exhausting.

Assuming the second speaker was referring to the borough, and not the supermodel, that, too, sounds exhausting. Brooklyn takes up some 70 square miles and has a population of over 2.5 million people. I have tremendous love for Brooklyn. My father grew up there, playing stickball on the streets with guys named Lefty and Bubba. He was the secretary of his “gang” and kept such copious notes that when their clubhouse was raided (after the gang had gone on a kitchenwares stealing spree or something of that sort), names and addresses of all members were readily available. He is an honest man, and the speaker of one of my favorite quotations: “Everyday I wake up and think, today’s the day they’re going to catch on to me.” I think most of us feel that way at times, like we’re playing grownup or businessperson or parent and that through sheer luck we have managed to fool the masses into believing that we are those things. I wonder if professional con-people go through this. Probably.

Though I would love to keep up this stream of consciousness and continue to write here to make up for lost time, I must instead don my grownup-who-writes-and-edits-for-a-living costume.

It’s a good week.