Things You Don’t Do In Parking Lots

She gasped and chastised me but I just smiled and said It’s Provocative but not Revolutionary.

“Dad, you could have found a bathroom to do that in.”

“Baby girl, you make it sound much worse than it was. Some people might have liked the show.”

“That’s disgusting and I heard what you said.”

“It is not disgusting and yeah, you are still my baby. Always will be.”

Cue deep sigh.

“When are you going to be home?”

“I am in Lindale and there is an accident on 20 so I got off the freeway and…”

“And changed your clothes in the parking lot, I got it.”

“Figure 90 minutes or so, maybe less. BTW, I changed in the far corner, it is not like it anyone was close and if they were, I don’t care.”

Things You Don’t Do In Parking Lots

There is a long list of things 13 year-old girls don’t want their fathers to do in parking lots.

Don’t sing, laugh too loud, skip, make funny faces or walk.

Try not to point, stare or so anything normal or abnormal because there is a good chance it will upset your girl.

Or not.

‘Cuz your darling girl can’t provide you with a definitive list and the thing you think you shouldn’t do might not be on that list.

Which makes one wonder if that thing we say about never understanding women starts at a much younger age.

Ponder that…or don’t.

****

In less than a week I have been around West and East Texas and done the usual tour through the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

During my last trip to Tyler last month I stumbled across a local sandwich shop and discovered the owner was a Californian like me, except he left 30 years ago.

He makes some mean sandwiches so at 4 PM I finished my last meeting and drove 18 miles to grab a steak sandwich before putting the 100 some miles back to Dallas.

Alas the shop closed early today and I discovered again why Yelp reviews sometimes make me crazy because the pizza place I hit was fair.

Food and Texas haven’t been as good together as I would like.

I Have Been Everywhere

Today is one of those moments where I feel like I should be Johnny Cash singing I Have Been Everywhere.

Been up down and around the twisty roads and bends.

The first time I lived in Texas I didn’t do all that much driving. I got around a bit, but not like I do now.

The nice thing about all of the travel is that I have become pretty familiar with quite a bit of the Metroplex and I don’t rely solely upon the GPS to help me get around.

And during the nights where I find myself driving home from hundreds of miles away I entertain myself with books on tape and mood music that helps light up my mood, if not the road.

Not every meal has been disappointing and quite a few have been far beyond that but I have yet to find sushi or Mexican food that compares to what I am used to.

That might not be entirely fair because the selection in LA and California on the whole is probably better than anywhere else in the country.

Sure you’ll find pockets and places that are as good as anything back home but they are rarer and unfortunately I haven’t found anything that really compares here.

If that was the biggest challenge I faced here in Texas I would gladly accept it, but it is not.

I haven’t been to every Sushi bar or Mexican restaurant around so it is very possible that place or places I am searching for is just waiting to be found.

That is a relatively easy search, far easier than the other I am involved in.

This other is much more like spelunking in the dark and I have a love/hate relationship with the dark that extends back to childhood.

Part of me loves the darkness and the way it can help bring my imagination to life and another part hates it because I can always feel the monster.

He has been stalking me for more than 40 years and there have been moments where he has made me run away and moments where I have gone racing towards where I think he is.

If I could burn down his lair and force him to fight me I would do it and I would do it now instead of when I am 90.

He’ll never suffer the physical indignities of age so I know he is always in his prime.

That is not something I can say anymore but I did take 180 or so pounds of teenage boy and send him flying.

It is not so easy to do anymore and it requires much more than it once did so I figure if I have to fight the beast it would be best to do it now.

But timing isn’t something I can control so I guess I better work hard on being fit when I am 90 so that if the beast comes I’ll be more than just a wily old man and grizzled veteran.

Soon the words shall stop so sleep shall come. That which has always come so easily to me has been a bigger challenge because my brain is working at a 197 miles an hour to find a solution.

*****

“Dad, if you are not going to use a bathroom to change why not just drive home in work clothes?”

“I could and sometimes I do but you might have noticed I don’t wear a sweater when others are cold. We need to be who we are and do the things that make us happy. As long as we are not hurting others that is probably ok.”

“Dad, you are not 25. You might be hurting others with the changing.”

“Or I might be helping them feel alive.”

“DAD! Yuck.”

“Don’t mess with dad, he has answers for anything and everything.”

And with that she rolled her eyes and walked away. It is not often I leave her speechless, the girl is smarter and quicker witted than I am.

But I am still relentless and I suppose that is good for something…maybe.

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