I was going to do inktober, which involved drawing, and less effort. But, my friend challenged me to write something every day in October. I thought, oh I can do both, but seeing as how it’s already 9:30pm, I guess that won’t be happening. I haven’t written in a long time. Mostly because I’m worried it will suck, but also because I don’t know what to write about. I used to be ok with writing about the drab shit of the every day, but I had the ability to find a shine somewhere. A line, a lilt, something. Now, most days suck. And I hate people who just complain all the time, so why would I add to the abundant morose noise in the world?
Even now, I’m looking at that last paragraph and I’m like oh man what a fucking drag. Part of me is thinking, hey, this is progress, this is getting the words out. Starting a habit. Like walking every day. A different part of me is just like oh these are just worthless words that you’re putting down one after the other. You’re telling, not showing. And the voices are both right, probably. This comes out of nowhere, but I swear this next thing is what I’ve just remembered about shitty Tuesday, October 1st.
I called my dad today on the way home from work, as I do a couple times a week. He’s old. Gotta enjoy his voice while he’s still here. He calls me “el despertador” usually, the waker upper. He naps in the middle of the day now, slowing down. But today he called me “el relojero”, the watchmaker. Maybe he meant to call me an alarm clock? He was trying to be funny. I assume this because he chuckled at what he said. Conversation went the same as usual. I relayed my location on the drive, he asked if that was close to the expressway, because that means speed, and speed is home faster. I don’t know how, but he was complaining about being generous with people who never returned the favor. I get it. You don’t want to be generous expecting something back, but I mean, at some point, jeez, a stick of gum or a coffee wouldn’t hurt. I hate owing people things. I don’t trust folks, I guess. And I don’t want to look like a chump. I’m in a shit place right now, as far as dealing with people goes. Just keeping my head down and chugging along. Playing the lotteries a couple times a week. Just in case. And I check the numbers at work. Because that’s the story I want. I want to go in, find out I won and start calling for lawyers and accountants while I work. I would even give them 30 days.
Work sucks right now. My good friend left. And he left the state. It ain’t like we can hang out. And my other friend is leaving at the end of this week. I’m all alone and in charge and it’s scary. I tell myself I’ll figure it out and I do believe that, but I know there will be failures. And those thoughts keep me awake at night. When I’m trying to sleep and I wake up feeling like I just saved my own life by taking a huge breath that was almost not taken, I don’t know if I’m having just raging anxiety or if the heart attack will take me at night. And those thoughts roll on and on down this mountain of fear, growing into a bigger and bigger black ball of freak the fuck out until at some point, I fall asleep from exhaustion. No idea how much sleep I get on these nights except that it’s not enough. I drag the next day. I’ll drag tomorrow if I don’t just pass out from being tired tonight.
But, my son. He’s what I hold on to. He’s doing so well now. He’s so funny. I love that he tries to be funny FOR ME. He makes jokes for me to see if I laugh. It fills me up, my love for that kid rushes out like voltage from the dense core of some great galactic engine. Even now, thinking about it. How unlike everything else in my life it is, it’s a surprise every time. I never knew something like this could exist. I always laughed my dad off when he said I could never love him as much as he loves me.
My son kisses my forehead as I tuck him in. I don’t even ask him to. Like maybe he sees me and he knows I need it. He gives love so generously. Even when I’m mad at him for something. Couple weeks ago when I was pissed at him, he told me he knows I’ve lost control because I love him so much, because I want him to do well. He told me my love for him is my weakness and my strength. I don’t know what fucking afternoon special he’s watching to get this from, but he laid that shit on me. He’s NINE.
The drive . The race to the expressway. Speed. Home. Home is where my son is.