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I would feel …

It’s an overcast, grey, empty streets glossy from rain, chilly, messy apartment, nothing to do day here in my building. I’ve a self-imposed schedule that will bulk up my time, but you know what would make today meaningful?

The thrill of a phone call from my children. More pulse deafening than any various form of contact from anyone else, seeing the incoming number on my cell would jar me into splendid joy. I would know how my oldest did on his Learners Permit test on Friday. I would know how well my middle one felt he did on his Thursday at school when he had multiple tests. I would hear from my daughter, in her little girl voice, what she and her friends have been doing this weekend.

I would feel that I belonged.

The low voltage of steady, streaming, hair-raising electricity conspiculously felt sizzling between myself and the woman who I felt I would never finally meet. The comfort nestled deeply and securely within my soul, during a moment when she doesn’t know what I’m thinking, understanding with bright, iris cleansing clarity how fortunate and thankful I am that she has made the conscious decision to spend precious and unretrieveable seconds, minutes and hours with a guy like me. The silent promises I would keep armed and barricaded within my heart, the sacrifices to the belief in love I would be willing to endure and the chastity of single thought romance I yearn to happily embrace would all conspire to melt the vulnerability I feel with the touch of someone who is simply there and the susceptibility to widen arms to those who extend them in unison.

I would feel in love.

16 and a Volcano

The birthday boy, and his siblings, have just left and I watched as the rear red tail lights paced out of my view.

It truly was a great weekend. I told my now sixteen year old (!?!?) boy that it was his weekend and he could choose the itenerary for any activity, any show, any meal and basically, whatever he chose. I was the grantor of his wishes.

Two steaks marinated with either a barbecue or ginger sauce, scrambled egg breakfast muffins, a Harry Potter movie, killing Nazi zombies on Xbox, giving him time alone in the apartment while I towed his brother and sister to the mall to buy birthday presents from them, letting him have sips of my beer, allowing him to choose a t-shirt emblazoned with his favorite band’s logo from their official website, taking almost a hundred photos, a very expensive silver neck chain (something sentimental that will last I’m hoping), and ending it with a made from scratch red velvet cake with sixteen blazing and bobbing candles accompanied by a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’ while the camera rolled.

I love that boy, that broaching early manhood child of mine. That kid that’s now two inches over his tall father. That kid that possesses a killer sideways smile who still is not into girls yet. Thankfully.

It was also the weekend of a Krakatoa realization. Concerning his mother. My ex. I’ve been thinking …

Read more…

Mental Confetti

Anybody can have, and is allowed, a bad, bad day. But resilience, perspective and determination are formidable tools that have sprung up in the wake of planting seeds and are indispensible to moving forward.

Much like exercise, being in school has the capacity to boost self-confidence. Especially when everyone wants to team up with you because of your grades.

Yes, I did fall off the wagon with smoking. But, I’ve resolved to get back in the ring and overpower the demon.

I am hardly able to fathom that the little boy who fit snugly in the crook of my arm at one time (and who pooped in it) is going to be sixteen on Sunday! He once told me that he’s getting old. Imagine that thoughts that I had as his Father.

No matter how hard I try to keep up, the mail stack on my junk table grows out of control.

I’ve been in my apartment a little over two years and it still looks bare on the walls and naked around the windows. I need inexpensive ideas and a method of making them look something other than walls of white and stark panes. I have a few pictures here and there, but is it because I’m a male that I haven’t even a modicum of decorative flair?

After all this time, I still love to play my guitar. I recently dragged out some old Creedence, Concrete Blonde, Four Non-Blondes, Bad Company, James Taylor, Beatles and a mess of various artists. It’s all pitch perfect and I make a great session player. Ah, the skills I’ve acquired and excel at – all of which can’t make a living!

I’ve teamed up with a lucky woman at work who has a history of winning on scratch tickets. I’m not a gambler and never had the proclivity to spend money on gambling, but we’ve won over $1,300 in three weeks. I’ve got a feeling …

I hardly see re-aquainted girlfriend. We talk every few days on the phone, but with opposite work schedules it’s difficult to have what you would call a relationship.

My ‘secret’ gift of chocolates that I gave to someone at work post-Valentine’s day is no longer a secret. I never see this woman because she’s on an opposing end of the building, works in a different department, has hours that most times are ending at the beginning of mine and only comes to my end infrequently to keep an appointment with someone who needs her. So I haven’t seen her face to face in a few weeks. But yesterday as I was walking down a hall to fetch a cup of coffee, there she was walking toward me! An impromptu conversation ensued, I apologized for the candy-gram if it made her uncomfortable and I hoped that she wasn’t offended. She was not. She was flattered and said that she should have shared it with me. We talked small talk for a few minutes and parted with a ‘see you later’. I turned, took a small step, turned around again, took a big breath and said ‘Wait’! I asked if she’d like to get together for a cup of coffee, or a drink or a trip to Jamaica. She laughed out loud and said she’d like to get that cup. She asked me for my number and I wrote it on a nearby napkin. As I wrote she remarked that she could tell that I never gave my number out at bars. How? Because I didn’t write softly enough to prevent the napkin from tearing in places. I’m looking forward to the call.

I’ve been wakened a lot recently by charlie horses in my left leg. What, I’m going through a second puberty?

I told an eighty-two year old woman in a wheelchair that she was beautiful. She shook her head no. I repeated that she was beautiful to me and she replied “Is it because my lips are so full?”

Monday the 14th

It’s always such a chilly and barren apartment the day after. I typically feel emotionless but somehow can easily brim up if I dwell on them or look at their pictures on the bookshelf. I’m someone who can walk, I can mindlessly stare out the windows, I eventually eat when the pangs are loud or anxious and very curiously, have a compulsion to leave everything in the apartment exactly in the condition it was when my children leave to go back ‘home’ after they’ve spent the weekend with me.

Today is a dreadful hangover of emotions. I’m painfully giddy when I pick them up but lifeless flotsam the moment their car has turned the corner moving away from me.

The three of us had fun this past weekend. The highlights for me were the menu items I chose and made: Cajun turkey/chicken burgers with spiced fries, scrambled egg muffins, chicken curry and I even bought an electric mixer so I could produce a red velvet cake. They loved it all and I loved all the time I had to spend in the kitchen chopping and mixing and baking and cooking for them.

My oldest didn’t come over.

I remember how hard I cried when he was born – the relief that he was healthy. That morning my heart, that now pumped for him, gave me my first out-of-body experience. I recall how he ran to me and held up his hands with tearful eyes when he was hurt and it took my breath away. The only message that I have retained on my cell phone is from him wishing me a Merry Christmas in his still little boy voice from 2007 – the first Christmas I was forced to spend without my children.

He wanted to spend the time with his friends instead.

Because of this new work schedule I have, I am only able to see them every other weekend now. The same schedule used for someone who couldn’t care less. It’s my only time. My only time face to face. My only too-hard hug until they tell me to stop. My only time of sitting on the couch with him, letting him lie down the length of the couch and pulling his feet on to my lap. My attempt at physical closeness.

My oldest didn’t come over.

I smiled and laughed with such sincerity this past weekend for the sake of my other two, that they never suspected my mental and emotional geography had quaked, ruptured and split.

Just another day after they leave Monday morning made all the more hurtful by the presence of a tribute to falling, or staying, in love.

Another reminder to add to the list of everything I don’t have.

I look at what is surrounding me – the unwashed stack of dishes, the wrinkled and crooked couch, the fluffy and clean pillows that were tossed onto the floor, and note that I have preserved the lovely stage of where happiness was just a day ago in order to gaze upon it and imagine that I’m recapturing and reliving the good feelings for another day or two.

I hear and see  joy thriving outside my window.

Just another Monday.

Sick Kids

My children are with me this weekend and, as always, I looked forward to it! Especially because of the new job position, my schedule to see them is radically different.

But last night around 9PM my oldest told me that he didn’t feel good. This after they ate home-made sloppy joe’s! Everything was fresh from the market so I knew it wasn’t what he ate. But last week the two youngest had been sick so I knew that it was just his turn.

Champ that he is, he made the most of his turn, pukeing all night almost on the hour. Sometimes shorter than an hour and sometimes longer than an hour. It’s so distressing to see your child humped over the toilet gasping after nothing but bile has come out of their throat. And he was so exhausted from retching, that toward the morning while he was vomiting, his head was almost touching the toilet water, so I held his shoulders while he spewed.

Plans were already prearranged with reacquainted girlfriend to bring over her two kids later today so we could watch the Patriots football game. Actually, they’re more into it than I am, me being more of a baseball aficionado than I ever was for football. But they’re individuals and I want them to enjoy what they love to watch for sports.

I plan on making chicken fingers with dip and grilled pizza. I have the dough ready and just need to dash out quickly for the few little things I haven’t bought yet.

He’s eating a small ration of oyster crackers I allowed him and sips of coke until he feels better. Flat coke always seems to smooth out an upset stomach.

Did any of you ever have that as a remedy when you were sick as a kid – flat coke? I remember that coke syrup was sold in drugstores.

Categories: Children Tags: ,

The Pot Is Simmering

What a few days it’s been!

While out on the road Friday early afternoon, I received a call on my cell. I didn’t recognize the number but seeming as I’m out looking for a job, I can ill afford to ignore a call.

I answered and a woman asked for me, we exchanged pleasantries and she told me that as she was looking through applications, mine stuck out because of my particular niche in the industry. My heart bounded higher than the nine lords a-leaping! She asked if she could set up an interview at some point and I told her that I could do it right now! She was a bit surprised but agreed. So off I drove to the facility while clutching my rosary and praying feverishly.

It’s a larger facility than the one that I have just left, but immaculate, warm and filled with activity. Much to my surprise we talked for over an hour! It went both ways – her asking me pertinent questions, and me asking what I felt was needed to ask about the building. After the interview, and after I drove away, I had to spontaneously yell in jubilation out of pure excitement over how well it went!

Shortly after I came back home, I received another call from her. She asked if I had a formal resume and could I come back Monday for a second interview and meet with someone else as well? Of course to both!

Needless to say, the weekend was brimming over with excitement, which I could barely contain, and I constantly went over in my head as to how else I could rightly bolster my qualifications and best prepare for Monday’s huge event. I wanted to anticipate, as best as I could, what questions might be asked and have ready answers.

Friday night I picked up my children (oldest was reluctant because of wanting to hang out with his friends) and alternated my time between keeping them well-loved and busy, and anxiously going over in my head how I needed to prepare.

Reaquainted girlfriend, again, came to my aid. We brought ourselves, and our combined children, together at her home on Sunday so I could work a bit more on my resume and print it out for Monday.  By the way, I made an awesome tasting blueberry pie!

Sunday night, after my little ones (little ones?) were picked up, she came over to my place and we talked over possible interview questions, situations and possible answers. It really helped me a lot to formulate potential questions, mull over possible answers and to talk them over out loud. What a session.

I went to bed earlier than usual to insure that I would be at my best. I woke up this morning, drank my usual cups of tea, ironed a clean shirt, showered, cleaned-up and drove away to the second interview.

More, after the Break

Post Holiday

The Thanksgiving was great.

Kids actually helped! The oldest, much to my shock, peeled and chopped and sautéed vegetables. The middle and youngest found great fun in peeling potatoes. I even made home-made gravy. The daughter took a picture of each full plate, thanks were offered and everybody was filled. I later even put out two pies – an apple and a butterscotch. After, my middle and I passed time by tossing around the football in the local park. A great day.

But, my mind began to panic when I got the call that the ex was outside and ready to pick up the kids. I whispered into each of their ears how much I loved them and how proud I was of them. Then, at about 6 PM, they drove away.

Coming back into the apartment isn’t joyful for me as I’ve written about before. But I was trying to help myself by being busy and ultimately failed at that. I kept staring at the mess they made knowing that it needed to be tended to. But it was their mess. It reminded me of them. It kept them near me in an illogical way. Looking at the dirty dishes, the unwrapped food, the stains on the tablecloth and the unfinished drinks kept their spirit with me.

I sat at the table, gazed at nothing outside for a while in the total silence, prayed to God and then fell asleep with my head on the table.

I’ll update in a few hours …………

More, after the Break

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