shaken, not slurred

Meditating DogI like to ponder on life’s great mysteries.

Okay, not really. I just think it sounds really deep, the idea of pondering. Pondering on anything instantly makes the thing you ponder seem more important than it really is. Take for example, waffles. The next time you order waffles, tell the waitress you need another minute to ponder things and then wait for the hushed whispers as everyone in the place ponders the mysterious (and no doubt important, maybe even famous) stranger who uses the word ponder when ordering waffles.*

(*Be warned, you’ll have to add 25 percent to your tip . . 50 if you’re charging it. That’s the price you pay for being an important, maybe even famous person. On second thought, just tell the waitress you need another minute . . . )

I gotta start by saying, I am amped up after that showing by USA soccer today. Tim Howard is a superhero. DaMarcus Beasley is my favorite wing man. Jermaine Jones SHOULD be the center of attention with those amazing dreads. Clint Dempsey has a future with the Coen Brothers. And then there was Zusi, Bradley, Cameron, Yedlin, Johnson, Gonzalez, Jones, Bedoya and all their magnificent compadres. Not to mention Coach Klinsmann who played Herb Brooks to a draw in my book. They made this World Cup tournament a ride to remember. And for bonus round material, they had Ian Darke pulling out a Spielberg reference! Special team, special place in my heart. Thank you USA soccer… oh sorry, I mean #usasoccer.

Anyways, Here’s a Top 5 Mysteries of Life list from moi:

1- Do ya think Putin believes Jack Bauer is a real person? Because if he does, that could really help us out . . don’t ya think?
2- How is it that IHOP offers a wider variety of omelettes than pancakes?
3- Why didn’t Billy Bob do television before this? His turn as Lorne Malvo on Fargo was jump out of the script dynamite. You never knew what he was going to do next, right up until there was nothing left for him to do. It was a thing of wicked beauty, indeed.
4- Is variety really better? I mean, we have six million incarnations of Oreos now and guess what I can’t find when I’m jonesing for some crunch and cream? The old schools! Fuck!
5- How comes the Chicago Cubs don’t just retire already?

And speaking of the Cubbies, here’s to not realizing I’ve been a fan all along. I’ve got a huge collection of these in my drawer. (Thanks to Tommy, a St. Louis Cardinals crazy, for this one.)

I did find myself pondering on mortality recently after being doubled over with intense pain that reverberated throughout my body. Turns out I had aggravated an old sports hernia. Before you accuse me of being overly dramatic, I should let you know I was raised Catholic. Anyways, my not so close brush with death taught me a valuable lesson about being prepared when the man upstairs clears his throat before calling my number: Don’t be caught without some Knob Creek in the crib. Mind you, I’m only speaking for myself on this one. And mind you, I rectified the situation forthwith.

Ponderous is what I was feeling when my daughter decided she was going to attend college in New Mexico this fall. I’m thankful she will be staying with her mother- who relocated there several years back- but I am incredibly bummed that I’ll be losing my best friend for a while. Mr. Speaker and me are gonna hold down the fort, but really, it’s going to feel like a sitcom where the main character leaves the show. Me and Speaker are supporting players at best . . . and don’t tell him I said that.

Forget pondering . . Why must I be made to feel like the modern day Hester Prynne just because I’m the only homie in my crew that’s not amped about the new Buffalo Wild Wings coming to town? (For the record, I don’t have a crew. I just felt like using homie and Hester Prynne in the same sentence. It’s how I represent.)

I pondered getting another beta fish . . . and then I checked out the scowl on my cat’s face and that Johnny Cash song came to mind. I ended up going for sushi instead.

Let me end it with this, since mortality is often talked about (By me, in this post even. Imagine that?) but rarely felt in a way that makes you go “Holy Fuck! Mortality just shoved my ass!” This afternoon had me feeling the cosmos that I was writing on just a couple days ago. It happened on my way to the DMV with my daughter for her driver’s permit test. There I sat, bitching up traffic and sweating on the details of what is promising to be a bear of a month ahead for me. My mind was spinning inside a tapestry of crazily sewn worry. The next thing I knew I was feeling a rush of wind, and the doors of my car were shaking and my daughter’s face was going paper white and the sound of traffic and music and conversation was busy getting lost.

A sixteen wheeler had grabbed the shoulder of the road at the last possible moment, missing us by fragments of space and time as it blew the red light I had been using to change the radio station. The next thing I knew, I was talking to my girl about the seat belt I hadn’t clicked in as we watched this tractor trailer hurtle on down the road, going fifty or better. He was most likely using the local route for time and he probably wasn’t familiar with the tricky snake of a road he was traveling. He was probably sweating details, same as me. And if not for his super quick reflexes, I wouldn’t have gotten to spend time goofing off with my daughter at the DMV. I wouldn’t have had the chance to sit across the table from her at lunch and watch that beautiful smile work its magic on me. I wouldn’t have done the grocery shopping, and I wouldn’t have been able to say “How do?” to my favorite sushi guy as I picked up my dinner, and I wouldn’t have gone for a run, or watched our guys put up a Rocky Balboa fight on the pitch in Brazil, or listened to my son tell me that we have to catch up on 24 tomorrow night. And I wouldn’t have this post to give.

The secret to life happened in that car, after the light went green and I caught the breath I got to have. It happened when I looked at my little girl and we fist bumped our ‘do over’ round, seeing as how we caught a break at an intersection that will never feel the same way to me. We were given the chance to move along down the road to whatever is next. And really, the details seemed a curious place to occupy myself with after that.

Grace is a mystery I unwrapped today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments on: "Trans-Pondering the voices in my head" (14)

  1. Love Train. Love SF. Loved this story. A replay granted. Thank the stars!. Isn’t that what it is all about? Great pondering today Pilgrim

  2. You gotta lot of things coming at us, Cayman and I’m overwhelmed (in a good way!)
    First and foremost, I’m glad that you were here to tell the story and secondly, I can’t find the words that end up being staccato, broken and stuck in my throat. So, I’ll stick with the staccato and simply stutter my favorites:
    *The power of daughters when they are across the table and end the day with a fist-bump punctuation
    *Can you think of any better acting than in that last scene with Gus and Lorne in the cabin?
    *What time was your Grim Reaper ass shove? Just so happens that I was playing Calling All Angels right after lunch.
    ‘Scuse me….I’m off to ponder pancakes and good friends.

  3. Mamacita- Wow! And Holy crap wow! Okay, before I forget on the time of that almost really bad end…it was right around one in the afternoon, a little here or there…don’t sue me on it. As for the thoughts….well ‘chyeah! Fist bumps with my lovely are an always happening thing. And no, there was no better place to be than that last scene with Gus and Lorne. It was Shakespeare in snowshoes and camo, is what it was.
    And not for nothing, but since Christy and me were talking on the cosmos and the shoes that people fill in our lives without ever realizing it….I have to tell ya. I made pancakes for breakfast this morning. Yeah. The kids love my walnut and chocolate chip special.
    You are a lovely pal to have.

  4. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude first off let me say how happy I was to hear that you were o.k. so glad that you were able to find grace and at a stop light, but even happier that you discovered it with your daughter, in her smile and in the opportunity to watch Jack Bauer with your son … because the Almighty Jack Bauer is all about giving President’s and people of this country second chances. And yes … you’re right Howard is my hero. He was badass and I was so proud of the way he played and how he represented us in the World Cup. They went out swinging!

    • Duuuuuudette- I heard ‘Melo was in La La Land today meeting up with the Lakers. I think he would look great in the purple and gold. And yes, I am thankful I had my girl there with me. She’s the love of my life, for certain. And Jack Bauer ain’t playing this summer, is he? No such thing as hesitation with good old Jack. I like that…..
      PS- Tim Howard needs a reality show, but he’s too humble and cool for that kinda gig.

  5. I’m grateful your daughter is still going to get to go to college, however far away that is (which, by the way, is WAY closer than the alternative). Mighty glad you’ll be around to blog. Close one!

    I’m afraid I’m one of those nutballs who do like to ponder life’s mysteries. I do it every friggin’ morning when I’m waking up. It takes me half an hour to get out of bed, I’m pondering so much. I’ve done it since I was a kid. Weird, I know.

    Speaking of Billy Bob and Fargo, this is my hands down favorite scene in ANY story. There’s so much understated menace in this scene . . . masterful.

    And, finally, on the topic of angels — I believe angels are the reason we’re all still here.

    • Wild Words- I’m glad she is going away too. I think it’s important to get somewhere else and learn about the some place else’s of the world. And yanno, our close call was served up neat- which allowed us to recognize the wispy line that separates here and gone, laughter and tears, life and death. Noll Drive was the name of the road. I was on it this morning, at a red light again, but different this time. That intersection will never be just a place to me, and the only two people who know of the arrangement that was worked out by the fates, are me and the girl. And all of you, of course.
      I love to ponder things when I wake. Mostly it’s the not so deep stuff, like- waffles, eggs or cheerios?
      That scene from Fargo WAS the show. It carried from that traffic stop to the scene in the cabin with Gus and Malvo. The ‘dragons’ thing was something I kept coming back to as time went on and the carnage increased and Malvo kept looking more and more like the very thing the Rolling Stones once warned us about. As a writer, I can ponder on that kind of story arc all day long. Excellent pick, Wild.
      Yes, I believe in angels. They took the place of Santa many years ago, to much better effect.

  6. Shit. I forgot the Fargo link. Sorry.

    • Don’t apologize….I got to watch it twice- once while replying to your comment and now again.
      “Because maps used to say there’ll be dragons here . . .” Damn.

  7. I ponder a lot also. I call it daydreaming and it got me into trouble as a child. Now I consider it a necessary element to my writing and dare anyone to fault me for it.

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