Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Endless Summer

Labor Day, the traditional end of summer, a reality that forced its way through the muggy heat this morning as I sat on the train with the usual assortment of misfits. I could write about the train everyday. It's a strange sub-culture and full of quirks that sometimes makes me want to play "get into their lives," guessing and fictionalizing people's existence based solely on observation. It, like poker, is a game of incomplete information. Today, an enormous purple thing sat next to me. I couldn't even turn to look at it, because its sheer size pinned me against the window. But I know it was purple, iris-searing purple, regal purple you might even say if it was velvety instead of polyester. This person--I have to assume it was a female, though I never saw its face, and I'm not willing to give up the possibility that it was some kind of African tribal leader--threatened to smother me with its sheer size, flaring my nostrils with its scent of an over-heated engine. And then, just like that, it was gone. Found a better seat. Or two.

I think there's an Andian parable about the arrival of the Purple Beast signaling the end of summer. If there isn't, there should be.

The last three months have been curious. I feel unmoored, at times. Others, I'm so firmly rooted to the ground that small children climb on me. It's a dichotomous life I'm living. Half the time I'm ultra-responsible, attentive father. When AJ's at his mom's I'm flying around like a kamikaze. This weekend alone, I managed to see every member of my immidiate family, in three different cites, gorged on ballpark brats and barbequed hamburgers, while also finding time to squeeze in a date that included an octopus salad, the prime suspect in a Labor Day of intestinal distress that saw me foul each of the four bathrooms in my sister's new McMansion.

This summer I kneeled at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher and sat in a tiny kindergarten chair listening to "The Giving Tree". I donated hard-earned money to various charities and check-raised a girl on the river. I went on dates and built Lego airports. I drank $100 bottles of wine in swank restaurants and pounded well tequila in dive bars. I spent a number of couch-ridden nights pressed into my mini-sectional (in charcoal grey microsuede) by the oppressive heat, energy sapped to the point of a coma and played 95 minutes (yes, 95. Overtime, you know) in an epic soccer semifinal in a near-triple-digit swelter.

More than anything, it was a summer of blind curves. Both unanticipated pleasures and sudden strife. A year ago, I knew where my life was headed, or thought I did. Now, I have no fucking clue. And if some mornings I have to consult the multi-hued calendar hanging off my refigerator to remind me of where my son is, I still think I'm starting to get a handle on this Single Dad thing.

I had a great summer. Punctuated by a perfect final weekend filled with laughter, family and the electric touch of a more-fantastic-by-the-day woman. Summer's over, but tomorrow has promise.


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Huge Junk said...

I know just how electric, or rather, stimulating, the touch of that woman can be.

(Oh no he didn't...)

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Donkeypuncher said...

Was it Grimace?

At 8:32 PM, Blogger High Plains Drifter said...

"(yes, 95. Overtime, you know) in an epic soccer semifinal in a near-triple-digit swelter."

Wait a minute... not 180+ minutes of soccer that day? No finals? Sorry.

Eventually, you must get to my homegame. Yosoy's a regular now. The level of play does not approach Murderer's Row, but most players can think a least a little.

This Sunday is our "Points Leader Picks" tourney... and I think he's picked razz.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger geewits said...

Good for you. You sound like you are at peace with it all. The split personality thing of when you are parenting or not brought back a lot of memories for me of the summer of '88. Regular Mom Sunday through Wednesday. Crazy party animal Thursday through Saturday. I had forgotten all about that.

At 5:51 AM, Blogger elizabeth said...

just beautiful..ok not "just", because also funny. damn good

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Falstaff said...

Dude, is "dichotomous" a word?

And did Bobby just say he nailed Grimace's sister on your morning commute?

Either I need reading glasses or I need to vomit.

Or both.

At 3:45 AM, Blogger geewits said...

Hey for some reason I just thought of you. I was playing Hold 'em on Yahoo and when my 4th 3 came up, "Come to Papa" was playing on the radio. That line actually, just as the card came up. I thought you would find that as amusing as I did.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Whatever said...

You keep raising the bar with your writing. Excellent stuff.


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