The Story Of My Main Man

 

 

Time can be cruel by suffocating us in our recollections of youth but it can also shine a reflective light on our accomplishments. Today my son, a husband and father, has seen his 36th full trip around the sun and celebrates another Natal Anniversary, which in and of itself is not necessarily an accomplishment. The relationship we forged and his successes are an accomplishment to me Like a fine wine our relationship has matured into an exceptionally superb full bodied tale that sates the souls of our camaraderie. As most fathers will agree it was complicated at times but the result for us is a father and son connection offering richness in flavor and bursting with a floral aroma’s of love. I think more of him as my favorite mate than merely a result of half my DNA. The love of a father and son has matured to the point of best friends. His story is one of success and happiness, a devouring of life that satisfies his essence and fills him with gratification and verve that never ceases to fill my heart with pride. Happy Birthday Little cool Man…..

The Story Of My Main Man
When my final chapter is written
And my story becomes history
My son will be a large part of it
The boy who shaped me into a father
The youth who fashioned my patience
Forged my boundaries of tolerance
A young man who challenged me
Allowing me to grow into fatherhood
How do you thank someone for that?
Simply for being themselves
When I’m gone maybe some will tell my tale
It will be the story of who I was
What I became
And my son will have a big role
His life will be all about me
That’s a lie!
The real truth is
I will be a small part of his glory story
The man who whispered to him to be true
Sent him out to carve his own history
The story of a boy who became a man
Forging his own path in a forest of thickets
Overcoming the dangers of treacherous waters
To become a man with head held high
A story that should be mandatory teaching
A tale that should be shouted across the universe
The song of a boy who challenged his own limits
A young lad who overcame the perils of his parents
A great father
A great husband
A great human being
A modern male Cinderella who controlled his destiny
If pride is a commodity I am so rich for having you
You are wealth beyond my imagination
I would prefer being full with your love
To all the riches I ever dreamt of
And believe me, I have dreamed plenty
If I could borrow from my own future
I would gladly give my time to him
So I thank you my son for being you
And having me be a part of your story

So that’s my son. My main man who taught me at least as much as I taught him and then more, who is now my best friend. I could never repay you for all you have given me, and all I have ever really had is words, so I am giving you these three words for you to keep, three words of mine which you will forever own, and forever have dominion over. I give these three words freely….I Love You
Happy Birthday Justin

MEGAN’S ROOM

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Its with me everyday
The last moment we held you
When the world became icy and numb
So frigid the wind froze time
So bitter our hearts stood still
Glacial waters filled our beings
Melted only by the salt of our tears
The sun wept and the sky sobbed
The clouds refused to move
The landscape void of color
Our world filled with a brutal silence
Complete abandon
Through the deafening stillness
Mother Earth whispered your name
Beckoning you to sit by the still waters
By the river of silence so idle, so alone
Where I sang you a delicate lullaby
In the rhythm of my breaking heart
Because I had to let go of your hand
Liberate you from the bonds of pain
Your body now free to dance
Your breath belonging to the wind
Your tender voice sang back to me
As if to offer comfort to ease my hurt
Leaving behind only thoughtful memories
Echoing across your sacred room
The playmates we shared cried in gloom
That day we kissed you good bye
Our souls enslaved to despair
Time doesn’t heal, it scars
There’s a secret place in my mind
Where we go to play everyday
In my dreams where you smile
In the room where we used to play
A secret place where I hold your hand
As we search for what love we can find
I meet you there every day and night
In that secret place in my mind……..
Every birthday I count the years
The ones that could have been
But I lost track of how many the tears
The ones that I’ve cried within
Love you Baby Girl, this would have been 27
Life can speed by like a flash in a storm but you can’t hold on to a lightning bolt.
Live whenever you are, love whenever you can, and laugh whenever you want. Don’t hold on to your love, share it now and share it often…….Miss you every day Baby Girl

I’m Miserable, Lamenting On My Birthday

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(Something I pulled from the attic, dusted off and adapted. Apologies if you already heard this shit)
So like yea, today’s my birthday and I am way past a half century old. Damn, when I say it like that it sounds downright ancient. Okay, I’ve been alive for more than six decades. Fuck man, that sounds even worse! So what do you do when you know you have more yesterdays than tomorrows, more of the hill behind you than in front, and you worry you are becoming a Grumpy Old Man? Why you bitch of course…..

I’m miserable, right? So I down a glass of vodka…. I’m still miserable, right? Although not quite as miserable as before. So I down another vodka. I’m still miserable, right? Well maybe not miserable but I’m still uptight. So I down another glass of vodka. I’m still mizabell rightio? Well not exactly mizzabrell, I feel kinda okay. Matter of fact I’m feeling pretty shitty good. So’s I have another vodka. Now I’m feeling it. Matter a fack I may actually be shhhhhh-happy. My oh my that vodka helps me forget. Onliest problem izzz, when I wakesh up tommorry, I gun be mishabelll all over again. So why’m I so doggone angry alla time these days?

Well to tell ya the truth it began the day I received the letter. Oh yes my brothers and sisters, the letter is coming in the mail for all of us if y‘all haven’t received it already. That dreaded piece of shit envelope with my name on it from AARP. Say what? AARP??? You must want my damn father because I ain’t ready for no bullshit Retired Persons mail. That would make a a goddamn freaking SENIOR! Thinking she was being helpful my baby girl daughter pointed out that it would mean bookoo senior discounts, like at movies and ice cream stores. While she saw savings on really cool things like Netflix and Ice Cream Chill I viewed it as an insult to my entire generation. WTF? We aren’t seniors! We’re still vital. Not oldies but classic rockers who had the real music, the good music. We are the generation that had to walk barefoot in the snow uphill both ways just to buy rolling papers at the stationary store. And then we had to clean our weed and through out all the stems and seeds before we could even roll. Not to mention we needed to glue two small Zig Zags together to roll what Y’all call fatties. We had chamber pipes collecting reinated buds for those weed free days. Speaking of which we lived through the drought of 76 when we went three and a half weeks without any weed in town. Anywhere! Not even homegrown. Some hardcore puffersa even smoked those stems and seeds. Gave me such a headache! So we are far from ready to cash it in and get on the senior tour bus, we’re still digging the psychedelic tangerine flake hippie tie-dye bus tour. Anyway, that’s what started it all, when I got an AARP card reality hit me like a glass of prune juice on a backed up day. That’s when I came to understand that I have become the ripped up pair of jeans that are no longer worn but were so comfortable back in time that Ithey just can’t be throw away. I am those old comfortable shoes that went out of style years ago but still take up room high on a shelf way in the back of the closet. Damn now that I put it that way I’m miserable again.

I was never really a big fan of reality but when it knocks you have no choice but to let it in. And here is the reality….I’m not getting old, I already am fucking old! And so it became that my new angry path was the golden road to grumpy old mandom. My sarcastic wit was far too quickly morphing into cynicism and distrust. I was becoming grumpy about everything so I took stock of myself and let reality come in for a visit. Reality entered my abode like a bull in a china shop, it was like a cannonball of facts. Crows feet? I got damn ravens legs. WTF are those wrinkles? That’s just because my skin don’t fit as tight as it used to even though it’s covering twice the mass. The ever increasing midsection of my body went beyond pear shape straight to an amoeba like glutton. Exercise? I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a rep of sit up’s today. The most work out I get is carrying the what I bought at the liquor store into the house. Even my license lists my hair color as transparent and my weight as a work in progress. Okay, so getting old sucks and being old is worse but that’s really not a reason to be miserable. No one ever said life would be fair but giving me the knowledge I could have used thirty five years ago just ain’t right. No, that’s not what made me miserable on this particular occasion, it was the culmination of all that reality combined with a recent visit to a local bakery that broke the dromedary‘s spine. I went to get some rolls and a loaf of French bread to bring over to some friends place that had invited us for dinner. The sweet young counterperson said to me, “Have you seen our discount? Twenty cents off on Wednesday.” Well another part of aging is I’ve become far more aware of diascounts and coupons than I used to. Just like my own father I have become a horder of Sweet and Low packets everywhere I go. Never have to buy them anymore, they are in the drawer with my soy sauce ans duck sauce packets. So hey man, twenty cents is twenty cents so I thanked her, paid and left. But when I got back to the car I began thinking she gave me far more than a twenty cent discount so because of another one of lifes little practical jokes I put on my reading glasses and stared at the receipt until it made sense. A half hour later I realized it said Senior Discount Wednesdays 20% off. Puzzled because of the oncoming storm of senility it took me 10 more minutes to realize she hadn’t said have you seen our discount, but We have our senior discount, and it wasn’t twenty cents, it was 20%. As I left the bakery I went straight to my happy place, the liquor store. Why? To get some vodka because now once again I’m miserable right? Happy fucking birthday to me……..

Natal Anniversary

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Today is my sixtieth natal anniversary. I’m not looking for acknowledgment or birthday wishes because all it means is I have been able to stay alive on this spinning globe as it completed sixty laps around the sun. So if anyone deserves credit its gravity because gravity did all the work. But holy shit man I’m sixty, or as I prefer to call it sexty. Well sexty if anyone has a thing for potbellied dudes with receding, or maybe disappearing, hairlines, crows feet, and wrinkles.

The truth is I’m as surprised as anyone that I lasted this long but I have. I really believed after sixty years I would be a lot wiser than I am but that’s just another one of those life fallacies, older and wiser. Now when I was in my twenties I knew absolutely everything. Until I reached my thirties which is when I began thinking perhaps I didn’t know absolutely everything, perhaps there were still a few things I could learn. Then came the forties and I realized I didn’t know shit about life. The forties was like an epiphany of the self. Time to start making a serious attempt at understanding life. When the fifties hit it was like being run over by a dump truck. Things that worked overtime on my body began demanding shorter work weeks. My children and my brothers and sisters children where all starting their own families. My fifties is when I looked at myself in the mirror and asked, “When the Hell did this happen? When did I get old?” Well it sneaks up on us without warning which is why I total support the theory of living life to the fullest, keep an understanding at how precious and quick our lives are.

I don’t know what my sixties will hold for me aside from in four years being able to relate fully to The Beatles When I’m Sixty-four tune but I will promise one thing. I won’t waste my time and energy figuring out the mysteries of life but continue to enjoy them while fighting daily to not become a sixty something grumpy old man. I have never forgotten the child in me and this is certainly no time to start hiding him. I will continue to be the best I can be and I will share myself with all of you free from any judgement because as I see it I have no right to judge anyone else for being themselves when being myself is the only thing I could ever be. Happy birthday to me, Love and Peace to you

 

Mighty Meg Would Be a 25 Year Old Superstar Today

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Today is my daughter Megan’s birthday. Had she survived she would be 25 years old. I had a few nicknames for her, Meg, Meggie, The Megstress, Meganator, Daddy’s Little Girl. Of all the names Little little was her favorite made her smile everytime, but Mighty meg was her most descriptive. Mighty Meg suffered a heart condition from birth and fought a valiant fight right from the start. Megan needed a heart transplant but organ donation, especially back in 1990, was extremely hard to come by. The need of her transplant was a soul searching bittersweet ordeal. The thought that someone else will lose their child before Megan could receive a heart was immensely painful both as a parent and as a human being. Meggie eventually did receive a transplant however with a compromised immune system she caught the virus that ended her short life. Mighty Meg spent way too much of her 19 months and 17 days in hospitals but through it all she remained brave. I didn’t even know what brave meant until I was like six, but Mighty Meg had an instinctive braveness about her. When her Mom and I were burning inside from the torture of watching as our child was jabbed with needles in search for a connection to a tiny vein she squeezed our fingers and got through it. Even after it was over and her Mom and I were still reeling in the tears Meg gave us a smile. She wasn’t happy, relieved maybe, but somehow Mighty Meg knew we needed her smile. That’s how Meg was, a mighty force that even in the darkest of hours managed to make us smile. So today I celebrate her birthday but not as a sad occasion, I don’t want to mar the memory of her birth with negative energy, but with fond remembrance as a tribute to what she gave to us in her short time here.
I know this sounds strange but I often wonder if species other than humans experience nostalgia like we do. I really don’t think that’s too far fetched because we now know that elephants experience something similar to empathy or sympathy when one of the herd passes on. Films have documented what can only be described as communal mourning in elephant ritual. Youtube is brimming with video’s of elephants as well as hundreds of other animals acting more human than humans. You can watch various animals interacting in loving ways with other animals or with us. I’ve had dogs and cats myself that were capable of giving and receiving love despite what any expert may say. Love can’t be studied in a textbook or laboratory, it has to be experienced. So I wonder do animals go back to the jungle where they were born, or the tree’s they played in when they were young, and have an unexplainable sense of happiness just being there? Maybe those elephants credited with never forgetting feel emotional tie ins with experiences such as birth. Can Mama elephant remember each of her birth’s fondly? Why not, many of us who have witnessed the birth of their children remember the delivery. We associate emotional events with many things, we can hear a specific song and be transported back to our first love. We do love our nostalgia. I mean look at how we celebrate our own birthdays. Congratulations to us we lived the length of time it takes the earth to revolve around the sun once again so lets have some cake and blow out some candles, that was quite a feat.

Despite the fact that each and everyone of us has a natal anniversary if we live another year we find it reason to celebrate our accomplishment. We see the date of our birthday and it triggers a comforting feeling in us perhaps because that day marked our entry into the world. It’s actually quite quaint when I think about. We develop bonds whether good or ill with events that mean something to us on an emotional level and assign it an anniversary. Today that emotional association for me is simply the date February 26, the day I witnessed the birth of my daughter, Mighty Meg. This would have been her 25th birthday and I find myself as I do every year wondering what she would have been like if she survived. In my logical mind she can never age past 19 months because that’s how long we had to enjoy sharing her life. So today I want to share my recollections of the day of her birth, the day Megan Laurine Jaret entered into our world. As is often the case especially with me, a profoundly sad emotion can be tempered with an upbeat and humorous memory to ease the sorrow of the heart.

It was near the end of February and Megan wasn’t due for another two weeks. It was so cold it felt like March was making a test run of it’s obligatory coming in like a ferocious cold lion. A bitter cold Northeast coast icy wind kind of lion. I was working in midtown Manhattan and Maureen and I lived across the Hudson River in Jersey City. We were a young and hip New York City couple so of course that’s where our child would be born. Being well versed in the Lamaze method of childbirth we were cool, calm, and collected when the moment arrived. Maureen called me from our 34th floor apartment in Jersey City to inform me that her water had broken. She announced it very calmly so I responded in typical suave male fashion. I freaked. After rapid firing all the proper lightning round questions it was agreed that the contractions were sufficiently far apart and time permitted that I was able to come get her. Once home we would have plenty of time to organize for our trip to New York Hospital. I left work and got on the PATH train for Jersey City.

By the time I got home the contractions had become impatient and we were at the point where the doctor told us to go to the hospital right away. So now this hip young urban boy had to head back to the city he just left with his pregnant and dilating wife, but this time in style, no pregnant wife of mine will be taking the PATH train! I called for a taxi then proceeded to get all of our “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” ducks in a row. Hospital bag was already packed waiting in the closet for the big call. A change of clothes, some bathroom items, a photo the instructor called the focal point so Maureen has something to take her mind off the mind blowing pain ahead and a snack or two. In recalling my childbirth class training I asked Maureen if she wanted me to make some Jello knowing she would be hungry after a hard day of labor. My uncanny ability to reason under pressure was noted, “Jello? Are you fucking kidding me? Jello?! I don‘t have time for any fucking Jello!” I thought about explaining that by the time we get through with all this child birthing stuff she might be hungry and could at least drink a semi set up gelatin but then remembered the smoke coming from her eyes when she just recently inquired if I was “fucking kidding“. I opted to remain silent. Maureen headed into the bathroom I assumed to use it one last time before leaving. Our phone rang and it was the front desk informing me our taxi was ready and waiting outside the door so I called into the bathroom, “Babe, taxi’s here, we gotta split.” Thankfully her voice had returned to that sweet sexy rhythmic fashion, “Just a few more minutes, I’m putting on my make up!” Admittedly being male I was unaware of the profound need of proper make up and asked why in the world would she needed to put on make up right now, I mean we are on the way to have a baby not a night out dancing?” Satan voice returned, “I said I’m putting on my make up and I’ll be done in a fucking minute.” I considered returning the volley with a “Oh so you don’t have time for Jello but you have time to put on your make up”, but the amount of stress she had placed in the “I’ll be done in a fucking minute” combined with my love of life alerted me to the total non necessity of such a statement so I opted for a weak, “Okay Babe, but we gotta hurry, Taxi’s waiting and you know how slow our elevator goes.” I took the silence to mean nothing more need be said by either party.

Okay, I’ll admit she looked great but I still puzzled over who would be seeing us. I could also sense nervousness in her which assured me I wasn’t alone in my panicked approach. Once I explained to the driver our situation the wide eyed look on his face assured me that now the power of three was rocking in nervousness. I can only imagine the thoughts rippling through his mind, a delivery during a delivery and all but to his credit he assumed control of his situation, got us both safely in the back of his New Yorker (ironic, right?) and began the trek through the Holland tunnel. The driver was quite animated and calmed us with his talking telling us about his children and the pregnancies therein. We were in the Holland Tunnel when he showed the first sign of concern. “Oh oh, some kind of jam ahead.” My heart sunk below the seatbelt and panic laughed proudly at how easily it got me shaking. “Don’t worry I’ll change lanes, if we get pulled over we’ll probably get an escort.” He crossed the solid lines a number of times not giving a shit about laws and calmly got us through the tunnel and onto the FDR like the pro he was unassisted by the police. When we pulled up to the front of the hospital a nurse was waiting already with a wheelchair because the driver had alerted his dispatch. I jumped out running around to Maureen’s door where the nurse looked at me with deadpan stare, “Can’t you read? All deliveries in the rear.” She pointed to the sign which I stared at vacantly, “Only kidding honey” turning to another nurse said, “This one here is in a daze, this should be fun.” They pushed Maureen down the hallways and I followed like a lost puppy dutifully shouting out breathing time signatures when contractions warranted. She was wheeled into a triage room where they set up the machines for her vitals, “Better call upstairs and get a room ready, we have a woman booming here!” The stand up comedian nurse showed me how to read the tags determining the severity and frequency of contractions and in seconds we were out of triage and into a birthing room.

Any sliver of confidence I had was shattered when I heard another woman in the throes of delivery screaming in pain in the next room. All the way through the room! I ripped open our hospital bag, “Where the fuck is the focal point?” I could hear Maureen breathing “he he he hoo, he he he hoo” and was relieved when I found the photo she chose for her focal point. “Are you fucking kidding? I don’t want a picture I want this to stop.” I had begun to think everything in the book and Lamaze class was total bullshit so we went off script and into our own rhythms. We looked at each other, read the contraction sheets, and when I figured out how to tell her they would be coming soon and they would be ending soon it eased the tension. Maureen just breathed whatever signature she wanted not listening to any command from any non medical professional at this point. The contractions came in waves, some hit the shore much harder than others. One wave in particular was so intense Maureen’s hands gripped my arm like a tourniquet, so tight it cut of circulation to my entire body. It would become a week long temporary tattoo of a blood red tribal symbol of a ten finger vice grip attack. Trooper that I am I whimpered silently. At 4:10 in the afternoon little Megan Laurine entered the world and her beautiful tiny face lit up the birthing room with joy. All the pain and discomfort of the past few hours was forgotten. Well mine was, Maureen was still in pain and discomfort, but she endured it with a smile when she held Megan for the first time.

So that’s the sweet part of the memory, the memory I choose to remember on her natal anniversary, even though like every other year I still wonder what she would have been like. I have no doubt she would have been a fantastic big sister to Kellie and would have her masters in something by now or she would have some impressive title. Maybe she would be the CEO of some big corporation just to piss me off. One thing she would have been at 25 for sure is a deeply loved child who could do or be anything she set her mighty mind to. If you are an organ donor we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts, if you’re not we hope you will consider becoming one. Recycle life.
Happy Birthday Little Little, I love you.

Today Is My Natal Anniversary

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Seems like only yesterday
I was carefree wild and young
When I realized how old I am today
I gotta tell ya it kinda stung

Cause I’m not aging as gracefully
As others my age seem to be
Overweight bald in constant pain
And can barely bend one knee

All my muscles sag a little more today
Plus I’m much too soft around the middle
Aging is a sudoko of a puzzling enigma
Wrapped around a rustic wrinkled riddle

Some people mature like a fine wine ages
But my getting older really makes me irate
Because I’m maturing more like lactose
And I’m past my best if used by date

When?

See its been one more lap around the sun
And they say that age is just a number
But instead me getting older and wiser
Seems like I just keep getting dumber

My birthday suit needs to be dry cleaned
Many deep creases and an extra wrinkle
I need to plan my trips around a bathroom
Because I know I’m gonna have to tinkle

Back in the day my hair was so wavy
Now its looking kinda thin and gross
The only waving it does these days
Is when its waving see ya or adios

Bones make strange new noises too
The creaking just won’t ever stop
Is it me or that bowl of cereal
Going snap crackle and pop

But no more Krispies its fiber one
Because it helps things move along
Need to buy things for my health
Like purchase a huge medicinal bong

What?

I used to bitch about the driving
Of all the old fogies on the road
Only one way they could go any slower
Is if their cars were be being towed

You don’t have too much time left gramps
Just drive and don’t be intimidated
If anyone you should be in a hurry
When your days are becoming limited

But on the bright side I save some money
You see now I get the senior discount
And birth control is no more a worry
Because I ain’t got no more sperm count

Odd smells permeate every room around
Perhaps one of those pipes is leaking gas
An old dude can still blame it on the dog
Everyone knowing the leaks from his ass

Who?

Gastric control has become a big joke
Another of the act of old aging trends
Pretty soon I’ll need to choose what I need
Do I buy diapers? Well that Depends

And the only thing I now can do all night
Is empty out my half full shrinking bladder
Choice comes down to having sex or a pee
These days I tend to choose the latter

But I’m not making no bucket list
Before its time for me to kick it
When the reaper comes knocking at my door
Ima tell him where he can stick it

Cuz us old dudes are allowed to be ornery
Say whatever’s on our ancient mind
And we can get away with touching ourselves
At this point in life who cares if I go blind

Wait!

Where’s my glasses where’s my keys
Losing your memory can really sting
I’m a faithful member of C-R-A-F-T
Can’t Remember A Fucking Thing

So happy birthday to me old man
With the AARP I’ll party hard and loud
I’ll have a couple extra drinks tonight
And wear my hangover regretfully proud

Getting old does bite and so does locating my eyewear so I can check the obituaries for my name each day. Like my Pops always told me, getting old sucks but it beats the alternative and today is my natal anniversary so to Hell with everything. I plan on raising all kinds of hell, raising shot glasses, Beer mugs, the roof, the proverbial “flagpole” and anything in my path because once the Alzheimer’s or senility set in I won’t remember what a fool I’ve made of myself anyway. Happy Birthday to Me Old Man