Monday, September 28, 2009

Balance

"Hi Snag."

"Hello," I replied cautiously. I don't often answer the phone when it rings, especially when it's a number I don't recognize.

"It's me, S."

"S. Wow. Long time."

S. and I met in elementary school. We were acquaintances until we graduated from high school, then became roommates, then became friends. He was one of my groomsmen.

"We haven't talked for a while," said S.

Many years ago we were at a New Year's Eve party at our friend's R.'s house. Just before midnight, S. started telling us we were wrong. Sinful. R. finally asked him to leave.

"How are you?" I asked S.

"Alright," he said hesitantly.

Several years ago I got an email from him. It was a long history of Jewish influence over the Federal Reserve. I forwarded it to his older sister, asking her to call me.

"What have you been up to?" I asked, also hesitantly.

"Looking for a job. I'm only working part time."

S. was an above average student in high school, a good looking guy and a talented athlete. Grew up in a nice suburb, with a successful father and a mother at home.

"What kind of work are you doing?" I asked

"Part time," he repeated. "With a catering company. Helping at events."

He'd gone to a selective college. Graduated into a position in finance with a big local company. On Friday nights, before we got married, R. and I would go out for drinks with S. and listen to music and talk about how we'd grab the brass ring the next time it came around.

"Where are you living?" I asked.

"Downtown," he said. "Just south of it, actually."

A couple years ago he talked with the Lovely Bride. When I got home, she told me, "S. called. He asked me to tell you that 47% of his problems are your fault."

"Renting an apartment?" I asked S.

"Sort of," he said. "A room. In a group home."

"How is it?" I asked.

"Fine," said S. "It's sometimes hard to keep my medications balanced. The side effects."

"That's got to be tough," I said. The phone clicked.

"Is that call waiting?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "I have to pick up the middle boy. He's refereeing soccer today. Sorry."

"That's okay," said S. "Say hello to your kids."

He's never met my youngest son.

"I will," I said.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In My Car

I live in a place with lots of miles, and I have to drive most of them some of the time. Yesterday I ran 200 miles north. Today, 200 miles back again.

I set the cruise control and turn on my music. The distance clicks away.

"Don't you hate it?" asked a friend not long ago.

"No," I said.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What To Wear?

This should be an interesting show.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Zeeba

"Wow ur parenting skills r well below average."

My middle son was texting me.

"Look at this," I told the Lovely Bride.

"So?"

"It's disrespectful."

"Is it inaccurate?" she asked.

"That's not the point," I said. I began singing Aretha Franklin's "Respect."

"Are you telling me you've never seriously considered divorce?" my oldest son asked the Lovely Bride.

"Of course not," I answered for her.

"Mom?" he said.

Her faraway look spoke volumes.

"Fine," I muttered. Turning to my phone, I texted the middle son, "I keel u zeeba."

"What did you send him?" asked the Lovely Bride, awaking from her reverie.

I showed her.

"That's good parenting?"

"It's funny."

"Threatening to kill your son is funny?"

"It sounds worse when you say it like that."

"I'm just repeating what you told him."

"It's all about context."

"In what context is it acceptable to threaten your children?"

"Have you spent time with them recently?" I asked.

"You'd both be happier if my brothers were dead," the oldest helpfully offered. "You could afford a nicer house."

"There you go," I said.

The Lovely Bride got that faraway look again.

"I love them so much," I said halfheartedly. My phone buzzed, a new text message.

"I keel u too," it said.

"Ditto, buddy," I typed.