The Almost Unadulterated Truth

I am tempted to say certain songs lend themselves as true descriptors of certain situations and relations between people but I haven’t found one that was as accurate as I might like.

If I were a certain kind of fellow I might grab a few different samples and try to use them to weave a particular tale.

Or not.

Would I ever give you something but the almost unadulterated truth.

It Started on The 25th of December

My folks flew in on the afternoon of the 25th and stayed until a couple of days ago. The in-laws came in a few days later and are still here, well until the 9th I think.

So just when my son wondered if he would celebrate his 17th birthday with wishes from afar he got all four grandparents as a gift.

And I got a chance to take them all around the Metroplex and have mostly enjoyed eating way too many free meals at way too many restaurants.

Even had a couple of fights about trying to pay for some of them, which I suppose if you have to fight that is not such a bad one to have.

Anyhoo, during the last few days I have been reminded about how sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder and sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes you discover or are reminded about the things that change or don’t.

****

A few hours ago I sat in my car in the Shady Oak parking lot, eyes closed, seat warmers, on listening to music and taking a moment before driving home.

In between Led Zeppelin guitar riffs I realized it is five years this month since I discovered that joint.

Five years since I moved to Texas the first time and five years since life was turned upside down and inside out.

Kind of funny to think about how very different it is now and in some ways so damn similar.

No Time For Thinking

Intermixed with all that has happened and all that is going on is an undercurrent of constant thought about some significant moments coming this week.

There are things coming at me at light speed, moments that have the potential to make my head spin and disrupt what has been built in significant and meaningful ways.

If my children asked me for advice about such things I would tell them to compartmentalize and not worry about some of it until later.

When you are invited to play a game where you don’t understand the rules your best served by determining what those rules are.

Except the thing is there are no rules here, at least not in the traditional sense and I won’t know what sort of structure we are operating under until later.

Won’t know enough to really plan or or prepare until just before things kick into high gear.

Knowing I am going to be placed in a position where I have to think on my feet and be ready to duck, dodge, pivot and dance around I can’t help but run a few different scenarios out in my head.

Can’t help but try to position pieces in advance and see if I can’t find an angle.

Just another day of dancing in flames.

****

We’re in the car, my teenage son and I driving back from the Stockyards.

It is just the two of us and out of the corner of my eye I can him mouthing the words to Numb. I wonder if he is just singing along or if the words resonate within him for other reasons.

Back at the Stockyards we wandered around with his grandparents, showed them the sights and talked about how good Texas has been and how good we expect it to be.

In a minute the music will switch to Kashmir and we’ll have a different conversation about this and that.

He’ll tell me how he looked at a picture of me when I had hair and he couldn’t look me in the eye without standing on a chair.

We’ll talk about how we were wrestling and he lifted me off of the ground and how I told him his full Wilner strength hasn’t come in yet.

He’ll look at me and ask if I am sure about that and I’ll tell him he doesn’t have to lift weights and he’ll be stronger than many but suggest that he make lifting a routine.

The adrenaline rush that comes with it is a cure for most ills and it never hurts to make exercise a life habit.

I don’t mention that I have been thinking about a friend whose son has been missing for several days and how part of the reason I want my son to start lifting is because I want to do whatever I can to protect him.

He is not going to be the biggest guy around but he isn’t little either. He already has enough muscle on him to make wrestling a task so I know if he got into some kind of scrape he’ll be a lot to handle.

But every parent wants to give their kid an ounce more of whatever it takes to protect them, even when we know that said ounce might not do a thing.

Even when we know there are lots of things that can happen and pray they never do.

I can’t imagine what my friend is going through four days into not knowing where his 19 year-old is and hope he comes home yesterday.

It is only a few months since a different friend lost his 16-year-old daughter. That was heartbreaking and so is this.

Epilogue

Can’t decide if I want to weave Secret Garden, Waiting On a Sunny Day or I am So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying into this. Speaking of the latter, maybe I ought to share the Viner version but only ‘cuz it is almost Vilner.

Or maybe I ought to just shut the computer down and try to go to bed at a decent hour. That is not easy for me, not because I have trouble sleeping but because I like the night.

There is something about it that lends itself to deep thoughts and great stories. Something that allows us to peel back the veil and see things.

It is a big part of why I say I know things, but it is not the only reason, there are others.

I could tell you about them. I could share a thing or two and help you understand the almost unadulterated truth but that wouldn’t be as much fun as suggesting things now would it.

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