When Dad Is A Superstitious Man

The guy on Facebook is offended when I ask if he can support his allegations with more than just opinion.

He chooses snark over support and for a moment I wonder if telling him I thought he was stupid in college and it is clear nothing has changed.

That is not going to win hearts or minds but I have already placed a mental check mark next to his name that says he is no longer worth the time.

Immoral, stupid and apparently incapable of understanding there are lines we shouldn’t cross and his refusal to demand a modicum of accountability and decency from the current administration makes him part of the problem.

He and I both benefit from the same dumb luck that allowed us to be born in the US during the 20th century.

The distinction is I recognize that and believe we can have secure borders and provide others with a chance to share in the same opportunities we benefit from.

I still believe in the melting pot.

When Dad Is A Superstitious Man

I have been haunted by this song for two or three days now.

It plays in the back of my mind making me wonder if it is just an ear worm or if perhaps I am supposed to take something from it.

Could be both and it could be neither.

But when I look at the lyrics in their entirety and not just a particular excerpt I nod my head because these are my mind of lyrics.

I stand in a place I never anticipated or expected looking backwards at experiences I never could have imagined and think about how they led to this particular moment.

There is a mix of focus upon the present with a nod towards the future and a wry smile that only a few recognize, let alone understand.

“Dad?”

My father answers, more strength in his voice than in past conversations and tells me two weeks in the hospital is enough.

I tell him I agree and say the rehab facility stay is predicated upon how hard he works to get out of there.

“Yeah.”

“I am serious dad, this is on you.”

It is not entirely factual but it is not entirely inaccurate.

“Don’t blow me off here dad, a long time ago I read that a smart Virgo listens to their Taurus.”

“Really?”

The question surprises me a bit, it is not the response I was expecting. I was waiting for him to scoff at astrology or something like that.

Instead there is a question and a pause while he waits for an answer.

“Actually it says a smart Virgo woman listens to a Taurus man because he can reach them like no other.”

“Yeah?”

That last yeah is not really a question 0r a statement. It is a response that sounds more like my grandfather than my dad.

I shouldn’t be surprised because Grandpa Sam shows up more often than ever making me wonder if one day my kids will tell me it is weird to hear me sound just like Grandpa Orrie.

Sometimes I feel like the sane person in a community of the mad; sometimes I feel like the one blind man where all others see; the one groping savage in the college of the learned, and always, during service, I feel like a heretic in heaven.
– “At the Shrine of St. Wagner” Mark Twain

Get Sick While You Get Healthy

Two weeks in a hospital bed is a good way to get sick while you get healthy.

If you’re blessed with a compromised immune system there is a pretty good chance the docs are going to find/discover some other ailment and it is not always something you came in with.

Sometimes it is a gift from the environment you have been a part of and undoubtedly one you refuse to take if you could.

You’d say the hell with social graces, scrunch up your face and say “get that the fuck out of here” but it doesn’t work like that.

There is no regifting but there is sharing and that kind of generosity is what created the issue you are facing.

****

Dad asks me what I think of our president’s latest antics.

“A good leader would trade places with you. He’d take all you have and you’d be cancer free. Would be worth listening to him crow about his magic touch.”

I feel dad roll his eyes but he grunts in agreement.

“There is going to be a reckoning. This splitting up of families and enforced separation of children isn’t just punitive, it is beyond mean.

I don’t mince words when people talk to me about it. I don’t care if they are offended or upset. It is wrong. There are other ways to work on this without beating the shit out of the Statue of Liberty.”

Dad agrees and we talk about whether it will get worse because every time we think we are close to bottom we discover there is a ways to go.

“Dad, Zaide didn’t run from the Cossacks and the Czar for us to sit back and just watch bad people push bad policy. We don’t have to agree with everything. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re wrong, but this is different.

As a father and decent person I have to draw a line in the sand. I can’t be silent about this one. This isn’t go along and get along time.”

Superstition Revisited

My cousin asks when I am coming to Tel Aviv again and I say one day. The responses go back and forth in Hebrew and English.

He encourages me and I give him my reply, בטח, by which I mean I am in agreement.

He follows up in Hebrew with a line that resonates with me, צריך לנצל כל יום!!

Got to take advantage of every day.

That may not be a perfect translation, but I am a native English speaker and sometimes have to think twice about Hebrew.

Something about it sets off a ding dong inside my head and I think about Crossroads again.

Some roads have to be walked and it doesn’t matter whether you try to vary your path because you are going to have go down certain roads regardless of what you do.

So I shall and I will.

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