Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Rated "M" For Mushy

If you had a pulse in 1983, then you are already aware of the Journey song “Faithfully.” For those of you less fortunate, or who have lived under a rock or in outer space for various periods of time including 1983, let me fill you in: the Journey song “Faithfully” was quite popular in 1983.

With me? Good. I’ll move on.

Flash forward to Tuesday night. I had just pulled six days of long hours and late nights at work. Now, I love my job. Sometimes you have to do what it takes to get things done. I understand that, and was glad to do it. But the fact remains: I did not see my family for any reasonable or meaningful stretch of time for six days.
I got home at about eleven. My wife was waiting up for me, watching TV. To give you an idea of how tired she was – looking after a nineteen-month-old 24/7 by yourself for six days will do that to you – let me just say that the channels were flipping, but she wasn’t really watching. I could DEFINITELY relate.

But that’s not nearly as important as how she looked to me. I fell in love with her all over again in the space of about three minutes. She had no idea she was having this effect; most likely she was thinking about nothing in particular, the way you do when you’re halfway between Earth and Dreamland.

Flash forward again to the next morning. Whoa, there’s my son. I almost forgot I had one. He blurs into my line of sight. Blurs back out all smiles, giggles and precociousness. I chase him into the living room and throw myself down on the carpet. We play legos. We dance. We roll around. We trade cars and trucks. We wrestle. We make faces through the French door windowpanes.

And then, there it is. The moment. A father’s bliss; a moment we all live for. He pauses between the legos and trucks strewn willy-nilly, and falls to a sitting position, like toddlers do. His eyes lock into mine, followed by a huge smile full of fledgling teeth. He’s slightly out of breath. His mood is contagious. I feel it too.

Joy.

That’s when the Journey song streaks across my mind like a wayward comet. There’s a line in there that I’ve always loved: “I get the joy of rediscovering you.”

Because it’s not about how busy you are. How flustered. How behind, rushing to catch up. It’s not about the mortgage, or the fence out back that needs mending. It’s not about the alternator that’s about to go out on the Nissan. Or the cell phone and TV bills being too high. It’s not about the work I spent six days doing.

It’s about that light in my son’s eye. That beauty I find only in my wife. And rediscovering it after a long time away.

That’s the stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Desolation, USA

Tumbleweeds drifted across barren keys. A soft wind blew past a dimmed screen. The power button yearned to be turned on, disillusioned and graying over time. The touchpad, sadly, lay untouched. A faint web stretched lazily across the long unused USB port, climbing halfway up the side of the lid. Echoes of a time long past emanated from dead curcuits, reminding the few who still cared of the salad days of a life ago. A lilting, tossed-off bon mot here. An overwrought, clearly ridiculous piece of seriousness over there. A random Shatner lamentation. Vistas of dusty fields filled with rich green and dandelion. Amazement at the world not revolving according to true Floydian virtue. A tossed Payday wrapper. Sunflower seed shells in and around the wastebasket. These are the things that are remembered, and in some parts of the Intertubes, rather fondly. Others callously disregard and harrumph the day away. These are they who must be held at bay, the whispering tones of discontent; no more can they be allowed to roam freely. A dusty laptop asleep, but soon to awaken. There's life left in the old girl still. And if the blanket of nattering naysaying can be blustered off the shoulders and left to the wind, the helpless fool who wanders through the hinterlands of words and their tricky combinations and equations may find his footing yet. Treacherous days lie ahead; he must slouch ever forward. It is not for nothing that he does this. It is done for the sake of the laptop. Heed these words: the Age of Desolation is soon past.

That, or put another way, I hate writer's block. Yup.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Very Special Episode of Floydjoy’s Blog

Okay, I’m not Mr. Spock or anything, but most of the time I do try to be like the Fonz when it comes to hard-hitting, emotional moments. In other words, I try to play it cool. Real cool.

But every so often something hits me just right and it’s all I can do to hold things together. I never see this coming, by the way; it always appears out of nowhere, like a stealth ninja or the train in Stand By Me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ROCK'N'ROLL VAMPIRES FROM OUTER SPACE!

Ever find something you did a long time ago and realize that you don't remember doing it at all?

No? Then I guess I am alone. Again. Naturally.

So I was just looking through some old Word files when I came upon what looks to be a fabulous opening to a short story. Check it out:


***************


ROCK’N’ROLL VAMPIRES FROM OUTER SPACE

Jimmy Blasewell stood behind the counter, eyeing the scraggly dude in the worn Army jacket down the chip aisle.


***************


That's all there was in the Word file. Now I'm pissed that I never finished it because that's a story I'd really like to read.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shear Lunacy!

I have concluded that two eyebrows are better than one.

Let me back up. I’m not saying that there’s a huge push towards sporting a one-eyebrow look. Nor am I saying that people with unibrows are somehow less than the rest of us. And finally, let me dispel any notions that I am talking about galaxy-traveling aliens or deep sea-dwelling creatures with only one eye – and by extension – only one eyebrow.

Hmmm. This explanation is not going all that well.

I’ll regroup.

Let’s start from the start then, somewhere around five years ago. Desperate for a haircut, I pulled into a parking lot off of Greenville Avenue and walked into, I think, a Supercuts. Or maybe it was a ProCuts. Or Cuts-R-Us. Or The Cutting Edge. Or A Cut Above. Or Cut’n’Run. I don’t really remember, but it wasn’t the Follicle Factory, the Follicle Follies or the Haircut Hut either. I’ll just cut to the chase – ha ha, I said cut – and call it a barbershop.

Well, in this particular barbershop lived a mid-sized African-American man I’ll call Jesse. I can’t recall his name, but Jesse fits. Somehow. Anyway, this dude was slicker than Tupperware on kitchen tile. I mean, here we were in 2003 or so, and this guy was decked out in a black Member’s Only jacket, black parachute pants and topped off with a head full of Jeri curls that would make Jermaine Jackson go cryin’ to his momma.

Now you might not think it from that incredibly accurate description, but Jesse clearly had it going on; the guy was cool beans from the get-go. It must have been the duds that were holding him back, because quite frankly, he was Michelangelo with those scissors of his. I don’t know what he was doing in some Podunk barbershop, I don’t pry that way, but this man was obviously performing several levels above this particular pay grade. But awesome though it was, my haircut wasn’t what impressed me the most.

See, what happened was, as soon as he finished off with the clippers, he put an attachment on it and before I could blink, he swiped it across my eyebrows in two quick swashes.

I was practically beside myself with amazement. I had no idea you could do that. I just figured eyebrows - in general - were untouchable, and sooner or later in life, I’d have Senator’s Eyebrows just like Ted Kennedy, Strom Thurmond and old people in general.

But Jesse had just turned my world upside down with two simple strokes of a beard trimmer.

Later, I learned this phenomenon’s real name: Manscaping.

Life forever changed, I thanked Jesse, overtipped the living daylights out of him, and walked outside with spirals in my eyes.

Flash-forward to yesterday. After shaving, I grabbed my beard trimmer – bought about five minutes after my revelatory one-two from Jesse, as a matter of fact – and carefully placed the spacer guard over the blades. It was time.

Being a five-year pro at this, I figured hey, it’s second nature by now. So I brought the trimmer up to my face, readied myself and quickly, expertly and gracefully swiped left to right and took off my right eyebrow.

Somehow I had botched the setup. A quick check of the razor told me it was true. I had messed it up. I couldn't blame anyone else. It was me. I was my own eyebrow killer.

Now I’m no Peter Gallagher or Sylar from Heroes. I’m not even the lead singer of Alabama. But I do have fairly thickish eyebrows. Two of them, in fact. But this was like a reverse Highlander.

There can be only one.

I stood there and looked at the alien mutant in the mirror. Half human, half Borg. I had to act fast before I lost my nerve, and since resistance was futile anyway, I closed my eyes and did the other one. You know, to even it up.

The upshot is, I don’t look near as bad as you might think. The downshot is it’ll take a couple weeks to get back to what might reasonably pass as normal. But that’s okay, I’ve got a kid now, I can lay low and maybe, just maybe, be passable by Thanksgiving.

Or I can embrace the situation. Maybe I’ll write “Eyebrow! The Musical.” Or try to pass myself off as Whoopi Goldberg’s brother.

One thing’s for sure: Congress is definitely out of the question. For now.