I had an appreciation for an art appreciation prof.
Call it a crush if you must. But I have never had perfect attendance in any course I took in college, except for hers. I appreciated art, too, but I appreciated how she delivered it. And, you know, her.
Anyway, why fuss over the details?
I used to go to all the Saturday extra-credit visits she’d set up at the local museums. All the other boys were there, too. Some girls, too. But through all the haziness, the experience also enhanced my love of art, of all forms.
You know, one that would have all the stuff I do. So I typed it all out. And it turns out, I’d have to reduce the font size to 0.0003 points, or expand the card to 37 cubic yards.
We have roles, y’all.
But there’s got to be one that stands out. That defines you, as much as you want a role to define you. At least, be the color you color with. A writing prompt in that book 300 Writing Prompts takes on this issue. And with help from my flying friend, Jeffrey, I took it on. (He doesn’t have wings, but he did sit next to me on the plane.)
So, there’s a story I want to tell and I don’t care if you judge.
One of my kids made a gesture at the TV yesterday that told a story. We’ve navigated this lockdown like good astronauts (minus zero gravity and Tang.) But as my girls worked on a puzzle during a Hulu session of Malcolm in the Middle, an ad came on and triggered her.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean we have to be distant socially, the sugary-voiced lady was saying to promote something I can’t even remember.
Instinctively, a middle finger arose. She didn’t even look up from the puzzle. I said nothing. I get it. Social listening data tells us that people love ads like this. They want to know corporate America is in it with us. That they’re doing their part.
I take it with me on flights. If it isn’t too wacky (or sometimes even if it is), I’ll ask the person next to me to pick a prompt for me to write about while we’re flying. Sometimes, I just pick one.
The one I’ll use today is one I picked.
It’s about stuff we should learn in school. I feel like there are some things we learn (or struggle to learn, often in my case) that would be better serve being replaced. There are things I’d like to have learned, but didn’t.
The pessimist in me wonders what not wearing jeans for four weeks has done to me physically. The optimist in me feels as if this quarantine has at least kept the Colorado Rockies from the dredge of the NL West for now.
The artist in me has documented, for better or worse, my thoughts each day in the pandemic – as daily haikus.
Some are flippant, some sad, some confused. Like any other March that I could have done this, but only this March is historically significant. Not just because there was no Final Four, but because when has the entire world ever has so much in common?
I just started hacking away, inspired each day by Twitter or TV news (I’ve cut way back) or just what was going on that day.
Let me know how the quarantine has been for you, and which of these, if any, resonated with you. A college today said she can’t just go day to day anymore, and I get that. So I’m hoping to get to the ballpark soon and the beach even sooner.
Just as soon as we get the all-clear.
COVID haiku journal
I’m honestly not too sure.
I’ll just stay in place.
My people, our house
Not a big house, but enough
I can’t hear anyone
The big Pop Tart box
Seems like the best choice right now
One tart at a time
No Jehovah’s Witnesses
Was that Amazon?
Don’t you miss hugging?
I know it has just started.
Just looking ahead.
Lots of people out
When I pick up our groceries
Am I a chump too?
Finding time to write
Should not be so difficult
Work days are so long
My back feels so sore
My ass is getting flattened
Four rolls left in here
TP is greater than gold
We are middle class
I’ve lost track of days
And how long since I’ve worn pants?
At least we have cheese.
Out of cat litter
The shit might hit the fan now
Is this our world now?
Uncle Frank is ill
His test comes back in 3 days
It’s canceled after 5 days
Instacart on strike
Three of them to sustain me
For three days at least
It’s April Fools Day
I wish someone would play tricks
We could use the laugh
It’s my dad’s birthday
He would have been 68
I miss him so much!
Not happening in the parks
Bunch of dumb asses.
Was yesterday harsh?
My bad. I should be more kind.
Cover your damn mouth
Steaks on my new grill
Make happiness if you can
Steak is a good way.
Pray for my uncle
He’s fighting this thing so strong
Grant him all my strength
Girls want fried chicken
Who am I to argue that?
Food is everything
Uncle Frank update
He had a good day Tuesday
Let’s keep on praying
When this is over
Oh, how we will celebrate
Hug and kiss for days!
Mine happened in middle school. It lasted on into high school, and, by great fortune, into adult life. My first exposure to The Temptations came with the Daryl Hall & John Oates album Live at the Apollo. I learned fast the history and prestige of playing that venue.
Hearing my favorite Rock N Soul duo mix it up with legends was priceless.
Temptations songs resonated with me at 12 (and 32, and 42) Just My Imagination was my theme song for those formative years. A girl made a mixtape for me with I Wish That It Would Rain on it and it took me a decade to understand what she was trying to say.
When I left Red Ventures, my friend, Brittany, gifted me a book called 300 Writing Prompts. When I fly, I ask the person lucky enough to sit next to me to choose a prompt for me to write. (Sometimes, I just pick my own.)
This one, I picked.
You’re a children’s book writer. Write the first few lines of your new book. This one is about Jamal Tamal, a little boy with a big imagination (I might know how it feels.) He imagines himself in incredible predicaments, which become real-life trouble.
I thought, man, I’m gonna need, like, a month or two at home just to write the daggum posts to do this daggum challenge this year. Well, I thought that a few weeks ago. And then this coronavirus thing happened.
So there’s no excuse now.
If I craft a post every time I hear COVID-19, that’s enough for 37 Aprils. And have enough to let a blogger named April have 31 for her next A to Z Challenge. Honestly, I don’t have to write much, because the Challenge has become the Month of Purge for me.
The cool thing about being a dad, I was telling Camdyn while putting on my shoes, is that we can wear anything we want.
She gave me that look again, the one you’d see from someone on a practical jokes show. I just kept tying my shoes and didn’t even care they were Adidas soccer shoes with black dress socks. With a Hornets jersey tee and grey shorts with a pattern of fish bones.
I can too, she finally said, and pull it off even better.
So it’s in moments like this I get a bit more clarity why I am these girls’ papa. Clearly, it’s to force them to think on their feet in ways no ordinary dad could do. It’s definitely not to give clarity to life, although I spend an awful lot of time in that sad endeavor, too.
I’m in a spot with not enough time to finish this, but also not so little time I can’t start.
And that’s sort of been the calling card in my life lately. Again, were this blog a goldfish in a bowl, it’d be floating belly-up. Interestingly, I feel better equipped to handle a hectic life than ever. And life is still keeping me away from this space.
I’ve kept up (mostly) every day with the gratitude journal, so there’s plenty of material. Hopefully, that’ll get finished tonight after my boys’ soccer training and Camdyn’s teams’, when that Monster Energy drink kicks in somewhere between here and the Lowe’s Y.