It's all a matter of perspective.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

I’ve got five gallons of peach must fermenting in my pantry. I am a first time vintner and let me tell you, I could watch that air lock bubble for hours and hours. I can hardly wait for primary fermentation to be over so I can take a sip.

I made some salsa last night in which all of the ingredients came from my yard; all, that is except for the onion and the salt. I used tomatoes and peppers and cilantro and garlic that I grew myself. That made me kinda proud.

Dan wants to know what I want to play at take five jazz, but I don’t know. I want rock! He does too, but he has not said it. And we probably will, even though it is take five jazz, not take five rock. Especially if the mighty Gregg Scott is on drums; he can not help himself but to rock. Dan says he wants to cover some of Otiel’s stuff. That is just fine and dandy with me.

Mrs. J is out of town. The boy is out of town. I am a liberated bachelor for two whole days, but I don’t delight in it. I don’t like to do anything that I can not do while they are around. I don’t want to go out, or even leave my recliner for that matter. I’ve got rehearsal at the church tonight and I tomorrow after work I will go to my mom’s and get the boy, so it is not like I will be overrun with time to kill. Even if I did I would just want to mess with my hobbies at home: my veggie garden, my herbs, my fermenting peaches, my guitars, my Nero Wolfe books, my National Geographic, my Field and Stream. Why would I need to hide any of that? Besides that, I like having these folks around.

Yesterday at lunch, The Boy was up at the table coloring. He made a few scribbles and said, “Look Momma, it’s Wylie!”

Mrs. J. said, “Did you write your name?”

“LA!!” Wylie yelled.

He scribbled again and said, “Dadoe, I wrote Nathan!”

And I said, “Wylie, I did not know that you knew my real name.”

So Mrs. J says, “Wylie, do you know Momma’s real name?”

And he says, “What?”

And she says, “It’s Jerusalem.”

“No it isn’t.” Wylie retorts, “It’s Mrs. J.”

I got up late this morning. I looked at my alarm and it said 8:00 and I was supposed to be at work at 7:30. I had set my alarm, and it had been going off, and I had been hitting snooze, but I had not been waking up. Just like in ninth grade when I would miss the school bus. I could be the world’s heaviest sleeper.

I thought (and my old man always told me) that I would grow out of this. That when I got to be an adult I would magically become a morning person like Pop. I would get up at 4:30 without an alarm and with a smile on my face.

Actually, what he has is more like the knowing smirk of an evil genius.

The old man hits the ground running and nothing pleases him any more than to find a groggy, irritated, non-morning-person to piss off. His eyes gleam and his lips part into that purposefully annoying, snaggle-toothed grin. Then he will say something like, “Good morning this morning! Pretty morning this morning! Can I sing you a good morning wake up song?”

But all of this is the good side of Pop in the morning. The bad stuff happens when he has been entrusted with the task of rousting you. The vile weapons he has in his wake-up arsenal are overwhelming. He keeps a bottle of spray water in the fridge. He has a whistle, lovingly referred to as the screech, which can shatter tempered glass. He has been known to yank the covers off and start belting out a monotone version of “When the Red-Red-Robin Goes Bob-Bob-Bobbing Along.”

But the worst, the absolute most unsettling wake up call that my old man can give to you is when he sneaks into the room, kneels down next to your bunk, gets his nose about three inches from your face, and then just waits there. He stares into your soul in silence, waiting until you are awakened by his menacing presence. To open your eyes and see someone right there, reading your mind . . . it is very unsettling. I’m twenty-six years old with a career and a family and a mortgage and I still fear it.

Hey Tony, give me a link man . . . Allow my readership to grow beyond my best buddy Dan and my Sweet Mrs. J.

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