First Days and Stuff

First days

Dear Son,

This week had your first day of kindergarten. Or “real school”, as we called it, all worried about how you were going to cope with actual work and not just watching youtube videos all day like you seemed to have been doing at your summer camp. We walked you to your class and sat you at a desk. We watched to see when parents would start to leave, knowing that we didn’t want to be the people who left too quickly or stayed too long. At one point, I pulled on your mother’s arm and told her, “Let’s go.” We gave you kisses and hugs and told you to be good and then felt our hearts shatter and drop down our bodies and into our feet when you gave us a look that said, “You’re leaving?” Your mother did not want to go, but I yanked on her like a bandaid and we walked out, trying not to look back at your shocked face and outstretched hand. Outside, we watched you through the jalousie windows. You pulled your glasses up on your head, cried a little, wiped your tears, and pulled the glasses back down.

And, because I’m old now and my memories of things with you get to fall into folders in my head with memories of things I had with my dad, I thought of my first day of kindergarten. I did not want to go to kindergarten. Unlike you, I didn’t have several years in day care and summer camp to prepare me for the end of my freedom and my entrance into the system.  I just remember grabbing my father’s leg, those rough factory working pants with the dust on them from the metal grinder, and the teacher pulling me away, somewhere behind me. And my father, standing there arms and hands dead at his side, not knowing what to do with himself as I cried, dragged into that little two doored building.

So I think you did WAY better than I did and already I’ve made you better than me at something: the first day of kindergarten. And unlike my father, I didn’t just stand there. I grabbed your mother and I walked as fast as I could from the window, from the memory of my frozen father, from the tears that were coming for me. So everyone did better, yeah?

The great thing is you seemed to like “real school” and you were ok with going back the next day, and that’s something I didn’t feel like doing until summer school for third grade. So you’re winning, kid.

On day 3, apparently, you called a woman walking you from class “fat” and later, when we asked why, you said, “because she is fat.” That made me proud, to be honest. Not sure why. Maybe because I am evil. When we asked you where you heard someone saying that to another person, turns out you got it from Dr. Seuss and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

You also lost your first tooth. I am still actually a little worried that this didn’t occur naturally and you popped that thing off while chewing on a Lego and the real tooth is still months and months away. They told us when the tooth came out, you held on to it like it was gold and you wouldn’t give it to any of the teachers. I wish I could’ve seen that if it’s anything like the shit you pull when we take the iPad from you. You put the tooth under your pillow in a ziplock bag and your mother, I mean, the tooth fairy gave you fifty cents for your trouble. Her reasoning was that coins are cooler. I cannot disagree with that, but stopped myself from adding that they can’t buy you shit these days.

This week, you also got into the habit of saying, “Holy shit,” which I deserved to have to be the one to fix. I tried to do this by switching to “Holy crap,” but you shut it down pretty quick by telling me I couldn’t say that because it is a bad word. So we just say wow and oh my goodness, now.

A couple of days ago, you were singing the lyrics to Life is A Highway. Not the actual words, but your made up versions of those words that sound the same. It made me so happy because I used to do the same thing. Hell, I may still be doing that.

So that’s what’s up right now. Life Is A Highway is your favorite song and your bottom right front tooth fell out and the left one is wiggling like a fat girl trying to get into some yoga pants.

That Blank Page Stare

tryin ta figger out what ta write
National Novel Writing Beard Month

I should’ve done a little bit more work on plotting. I really should’ve figured my ending out, which I never did and so there’s just all these disjointed scenes I have digital index cards for. I should be writing anywhere but here. But, NOW, of course, I want to go catch up on sketches. Or write poetry.

What I need is a year long reason to not write a novel so I can be creative elsewhere. But no, today I’m gonna get four pages down, even if they suck a big typewritery dick. I have no idea what that penis or typewriter would even look like.

Three Ghostes

3 Ghostes

Went for a walk this evening. Put Jack on my shoulders. It was nice. Sorta cool out. Cool for Miami, you know? Mosquitoes were sorta out sorta not. Sliver of a banana moon out. We out. We about. We no fighting tonight. We no shout.

I like the look of my shadow with my little man riding up high. He grabs on like a monkey, hugging against my head, running his fingers along the slow returning hair on my ears. Gotta shave that tomorrow morning. But he likes it right now.

His mother walks slow, looking at Halloween decorations in people’s yards. I need to go faster. Overweight as I am, I want to go on to the next house, the next corner, the next block. I walk ahead of her into the street to avoid some sprinklers. She falls behind a bit in the dark street. She’s on the other side of the street now for some reason, popping in and out of tree shadows.

I don’t know shit about Halloween, thanks Jehovah’s Witnesses. I only know that summer is dying and running is funner. I want to take off with my boy up there in the saddle of my shoulders. I want to be a stallion for him. I want him to bounce and hold on for his life and giggle, the pealing laughs bouncing off walls and trees, up into a sky with no rain finally summer’s going away.

I think about how fast 3 years old is going and how he lies sometimes now and can say please and thank you and you’re welcome. He bargains. He likes it when I drive over train tracks fast. He tells me he loves me too when I put him to sleep. He cries a little more than I like.

I think about my sore lower back and put the Kentucky Derby on slow mo. The other footsteps catch up behind me.

We reach our front yard and look at the inflated pacman pumpkin chasing 3 blinking ghosts: blue, green, red.

“It’s three ghostes, dada.”

Sentence Assignment

This is the last sentence of the Sentence Assignment set of writings. I know this because my friend has informed me that his schooling will be done next week. So this is the last bit of this sort of gibberish you’ll be running into for a good while. Yes, smile, Invisible Reader. We are at the close, as they say. And by they, I mean nobody. Or them.

So here it is. Four minutes to write about: “Be true to your teeth or they’ll be false to you.”

Braces. I remember the fucking braces. My mother wanted me to have them. Made some kind of deal with my dad to split the cost. I’m sure he had his doubts about what she would actually do with the money. I know I learned that lesson.

I guess I should be thankful for the braces. I’ve kissed a lot of girls with these awesome teeth. I have to admit, that aside from a lil curve at the end of it, I don’t get a million compliments on my penis. But my teeth? All the time. Chicks with, “You shouldn’t hide your smile.” They have no idea that I used to be Dracula at Halloween with no need to purchase fangs. At one point in middle school, I had my two milk teeth above my regular canines.

I remember when the dentist took out a bunch of perfectly good teeth. The Life Saver taste of the sprayed on anesthetic. The giant needle with the two hoops at the end of it for deft fingers. I remember the crick-crick-crick-crick while the dentist pried out teeth, back and forth, back and forth, with PLIERS, because my mouth was apparently too small for all my teeth. ME! A small mouth! Somewhere at my old place, there is a small plastic cylinder with the teeth in it. If you open it, you will probably smell something similar to an Egyptian mummy’s cheese collection.

I also had oral surgery for removal of my wisdom teeth. Cavemen teeth with no real use in the present. And I had FIVE of them (four is normal!). I’m a lil extra caveman classic when I roll with my sarcastic.

I remember the pain from the braces. I could feel my gums sweating saliva. I could feel my heart beating in that pink rumply tissue that held my chompers in place.

At one point, I swore to my mother and father that I’d put them in a home one day for the pain they had brought upon me.

My mom and I would go to Checker’s after my dental appointments, usually. I couldn’t eat anything but fries and a shake. And none of it ever hid the taste of newly tightened metal. The ghost of aluminum. I remember thinking what a terrible price I had to pay to get out of school early.

I hid the braces well all through middle school. Only a couple of people knew I had them. I think it was half learning to look hard and half knowing to hide things from the vultures known as children.

You dumb bastards didn’t know a thing about raising a boy. But thanks for the awesome teeth. Couldn’t have gotten laid without them.

Sentence Assignments

Late on my sentences as usual. You know the drill. One sentence. Four minutes. Always late. But often finished… This post’s sentence is: “I was trying so hard to be myself I was turning into somebody else.”

This will be the first straight up literal translation of this I’ll do. This sentence makes me think about me. About selfishness. About how when I want something, whether it’s shiny or I ascribe god knows whatever else to justify my desiring it, I become blind to logic and practicality and to other people’s needs and hearts and their right to breathe without having to endure my presence or blind path walking.

I mean, being selfish is an idealistic thing, you know? And I guess what I mean by that is that when I was young, I didn’t care about what people thought (and I still don’t, to a particular degree). Truth at all costs, and all that shit. Freedom of speech and fuck you.

And now that I have a kid, I’m better about that stuff. I understand people who don’t want others to cuss around their kids. Or to smoke. Or to have too much violence on tv.

I now understand about “almost” with kids. As in, that person almost let my kid bust his ass.

I get these big sucking ins of my breath sometimes when these almosts occur.

Last night, Jack was crying for someone to come get him. I went over there, with good intentions: to make him learn he has no power. So that we can sleep. Not because I’m an asshole. And he let out this great big crying Pleeeeeeaaaaase! And I couldn’t swat it aside with my logic and book readings. I picked him up and told him to stop crying. That it would be okay.

And he said, “Okaaaaaay,” and he put his little head on my shoulder.

Sometimes, I try so hard to be hard, that I forget I’ve become a dad.

Sentence Assignments

Late on my sentences as usual. You know the drill. One sentence. Four minutes. Always late. But often finished… This post’s sentence is: “I was trying so hard to be myself I was turning into somebody else.”

This will be the first straight up literal translation of this I’ll do. This sentence makes me think about me. About selfishness. About how when I want something, whether it’s shiny or I ascribe god knows whatever else to justify my desiring it, I become blind to logic and practicality and to other people’s needs and hearts and their right to breathe without having to endure my presence or blind path walking.

I mean, being selfish is an idealistic thing, you know? And I guess what I mean by that is that when I was young, I didn’t care about what people thought (and I still don’t, to a particular degree). Truth at all costs, and all that shit. Freedom of speech and fuck you.

And now that I have a kid, I’m better about that stuff. I understand people who don’t want others to cuss around their kids. Or to smoke. Or to have too much violence on tv.

I now understand about “almost” with kids. As in, that person almost let my kid bust his ass.

I get these big sucking ins of my breath sometimes when these almosts occur.

Last night, Jack was crying for someone to come get him. I went over there, with good intentions: to make him learn he has no power. So that we can sleep. Not because I’m an asshole. And he let out this great big crying Pleeeeeeaaaaase! And I couldn’t swat it aside with my logic and book readings. I picked him up and told him to stop crying. That it would be okay.

And he said, “Okaaaaaay,” and he put his little head on my shoulder.

Sometimes, I try so hard to be hard, that I forget I’ve become a dad.

Sentence of the Week

Every week, I get a sentence from my friend and I have to write about it for four minutes. When he gave it to me this week, I thought it was going to be fun to work on later on. I mean, a horse! And he’s ALONE! Who was riding him? Maybe there was a satchel on him with so many clues. Or a messenger bag. Maybe the horse had a gatling gun on its back. Anyway, here’s the sentence: The horse came back alone.

I think what that phrase means to me this week is that the people I play videogames with forgot for a second that we’re just playing a videogame. There was this guy, this really funny and cool as shit guy in our community who could do a hell of a Christopher Walken impression. Among other things. And this guy’s nephew got on his computer and installed some hacks and got his uncle’s account banned from the videogame on some other people’s server. And we told him he couldn’t wear our colors anymore. Couldn’t fly our flag. Couldn’t wear our tag. This guy, who all he has done is make people laugh.

This guy who was never that good of a player. Who came in from time to time because he cared about people. Cause he wanted to see where everyone was.

What the fuck? He never hacked us. His only mistake was to trust his nephew. I hope everyone who voted against him has their nephews install hacks on their computers. I hope they all get banned. I hope they all have to sit there with their dicks in their hands wondering how their supposed friends could do them dirt like this.

I feel like the fucking horse who came back alone. Me and two other guys anyway.

Yeah, this week’s assignment sucked.

But I wasn’t in the mood for it.

And I had to do it.

Fuck you, page.

Weekly writing assignment

This week’s writing thing: “It’s not my fawlt I wuz home skoold” So I have to write about this for four minutes:

This is a stupid sentence. You figure someone home schooled is going to have a parent that gives a shit and maybe has some kind of pull to get that sort of thing approved. If home schooling for stupid people was acceptable then you wouldn’t have all the kids of the parents who don’t care in schools fucking it up for all the people who actually want to get good grades because they’re competitive or their parents have taught them to care or maybe they think they have to so they can get into college.

I don’t know why I did well in school. I’m lucky. I’m glad I wasn’t home schooled. That is some shit. I was bad in kindergarten. I remember one time, I was pushing this tall skinny black kid named Donnie around the classroom in his chair. This chair had no wheels. Little metal feet on carpet. He had a little basket of tiny tiles we were using to make these sort of flat things to put hot tea or a pot on for our parents. Donnie was using these little tiles as ammunition to chuck at the other kids. At some point after that, we had to stand up on chairs holding big dictionaries over our heads. Man, my arms hurt right now from trying to dig this stupid hole for a dry well but I bet they hurt worse back then.

And for some reason, in the second grade, they decided I needed to be switched from the retard class to the honors class. My dad never helped me with homework. I didn’t have any tutors.

I don’t know how I didn’t end up shot or a bum on the dirty narrow crunchy streets of Allapattah.

Time’s up.