The Man In The Dragon Shirt

After I surprised my daughter by showing up unexpectedly in her room she asked me to explain how I did it and I said I was the stealthiest ninja.

Ever since then she has tried to prove to me that she is the rightful owner of the aforementioned description but I have refused to concede the title.

And if she keeps getting wrapped up in Facetiming with boys late at night I am sure I’ll have the opportunity to suddenly materialize in her room again.

The trick to being the stealthiest ninja has more to do with distraction than with whether a person is capable of walking softly.

Sometimes Dad Is Shy Continued

There are other benefits to being the stealthiest ninja, especially when dad is feeling shy and more reserved.

After the pleasant surprise of the prior week I figured it made sense to go spend some more time among the community and try to meet more people.

A night of gambling with fake money to raise money for a good cause sounds like a good opportunity to meet more people and to have some fun.

Part of me feels a little shy and bashful and I find myself laughing at my reflection as I try to decide if I have any clothes that will let me look like I dressed for the theme but won’t call a ton of attention to myself.

It is a 50s thing but I don’t have hair to slick back and decide I don’t want to do one of the sleeveless shirt with jeans or white t-shirt with fake cigarette pack rolled up in the sleeve.

I want to quietly roll in and check it out so in an effort to be unobtrusive I pick out a black shirt with a dragon on it.

Nobody notices dragons.

*****

So I roll in, walk around and shake hands with the few people I know and then grab a beer at the bar.

I am having fun people watching and am smiling in part because many of the people there have a familiar look.

That is what happens when you hang out with a bunch of MOT’s, you see people that you think you know from some other MOT event.

And even if you never met them before there is a pretty good chance you’ll know someone in common.

All it takes is a short conversation and you find out you went to school/camp/Israel or somewhere with them or their brother/sister/aunt/cousin/friend.

Teenagers

We have the same conversation over and over and I wonder when he’ll begin to hear and listen.

Somewhere in the middle of the latest battle I reiterate for the 987,212,731th time the same few things I have been saying.

It is another moment of contradiction in which fear and certainty do battle.

The lack of trust instills rage and disbelief and there is a moment when I am amazed again at how quickly some buttons are pressed and how exceptional my self control is.

That is not supposed to be understood as self congratulatory or anything resembling an attempt to pat myself on the back.

It is incredulity that after one of the most challenging years ever I haven’t broken myself or others.

That brings an internal debate about whether it would be a good or bad thing if I could turn the dragon on my chest into a real beast.

Probably a good thing I can’t and not just because I like using my hands for some tasks.

****

Somewhere in between the musing comes the reminder that I cannot beat myself up for the things I could have or should have done.

Later I’ll stare at my reflection and remember the person that gave me the greatest beating ever is looking back at me.

I of course always give back as good as I get and then some.

That is the benefit of experience and it is where the confidence and certainty comes from. I am a proven success at walking blindly through the dark.

Might have stubbed a few toes and gotten scratched, but I found my way out and so will he.

Still a man finds it hard to sit back, watch and wait for some things to happen, but that is just how it has to be sometimes.

So I hold onto the theory that there is value in being able to look back and say you survived the storm.

I know this to be true, but it is also true that I said “take my fucking hand and I’ll pull you up and out.”

Worked about as well as it would have when I was a teen which begs the question of whether frustration or hope spoke.

I like to think it was hope that repetition of certain messages would eventually sink in but I don’t know.

Only time will tell, no wonder I have no hair now. 🙂

But that is good for the stealthiest ninja because I can wear dark knit hats and not worry about hat hair.

****

Got to run now friends, Amazon Prime is delivering. Time to see if the service is all it is touted to be.

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