The boy on the left and the boy on the right don’t know each other. Neither one can comprehend the other’s existence. They’re both five years old in these pictures, these recorded snapshots of light and shadow, and neither of them can understand the concept of birth or death. In these captured moments in time these two exist only in the present; no comprehension of the past or future.
If time travel to the past were possible, one could show the boy on the left the picture of the other and he might assume he’s a classmate. He’d be completely and totally unaware that he was viewing a human he’d one day create. If one were to show the boy on the right the picture of the other, he’d probably assume the same. A classmate, a counterpart; unaware that such a boy could one day grow into the man who’d create him. Continue reading →
I turned thirty-six in February. Thirty-six, if you can believe that shit. Four years away from forty. Forty! That’s the age of someone’s dad! Oh wait; I am someone’s dad.
When I was young-grade school age-I never thought much past age thirty. I wondered what I’d be doing when I was twenty one. I wondered what I’d be doing when the year 200o rolled around. I knew I’d be twenty-six but didn’t know where I’d be. Little did I know I’d be finishing college and moving 500 miles away from West Virginia to Missouri, where I’d stake out my little place to live out the American dream.
Forty? Didn’t think much about that then. I figured I’d have kids, maybe a job worth a shit. Who knew? Thirty-six? Never gave it a moment’s thought; it’s really a non-milestone age. Overlooked in the glow of thirty-five and the fear and stigma of forty.
So here I am, halfway through the year I turned thirty-six. Thirty-six trips around the sun for me.
So where am I now, at age thirty-six? What have I done? What’s changed? Did I accomplish the things I thought I would? What didn’t turn out the way I thought it would?
I’m thirty-six with two kids and a wife. My wife and I have been together for fifteen years and have been married for twelve years. Our relationship is changing, modifying as we get older, as we accumulate years together. We’re staying flexible with each other, flexible with what life is throwing at us. We’re in a partnership, and we’re together for life. This is actually where I thought I would be, but our marriage is a little different than I imagined it might be. It’s more difficult; not quite as easy as I’d originally thought, but those are the ideals of youth. Although difficult at times it’s rewarding and not at all impossible to maintain. Continue reading →
A couple months ago on our way to get haircuts for Orson and me the family stopped for dinner at White Castle since it’s right next door to the salon. When I walked in I saw a really old man sitting at a table, just watching people. He observed us for a while and then he made a few references about how nice our family was and about how lucky I was. I agreed, fleshing out my response with a bit of small talk. He hung around for a while and then came up to us again and started a short conversation. He talked about fighting in World War II, about bombing Germans and lying about his age to join the army.
He told us again how lucky we were, how we had everything. Then he said “I’ve lost everything”. Traci made a empathetic gesture but I wasn’t sure what to say. I was deeply affected. We spoke a bit more and then he strolled around the store for a ten minutes or so, going outside to smoke once or twice before he left. Continue reading →