And exhausted, and older, worn down, all the things that makes life worth living. I made it to just one of my son's swim meets, and had one glorious day with just my daughter, taking her out of school to go snowboarding and gorge on small-town Chinese restaurant cuisine. I guess it was about ten years ago I tip-toed into the internet, and twenty years since I flew overseas for a year in Romania. Thirty years back, I was on my way from Texas to New York, and if I could go back now and talk to that kid, I wouldn't, because I need every spare moment for my homework.
Alex and I, along with her sister and husband, our closest friends going on a dozen years, spent a week in Whistler. It was just a few days after his dad died of a heart attack. Cliff was a good friend, and I spent many a night puffing away with him on cigars and laughing, the man could laugh, Jesus, could he. He had seven sons and a daughter, and god the funeral was hard, like maybe it's supposed to be, but we took that Whistler trip, and then one to White Pass, and it felt good to run out all that inanswerability and inunderstandability on the mountainside, then share a lift back up into the lower realms of heaven, spilling flasked bourbon onto our mittens trying to find a way to say exactly what it is we're feeling, grateful and mortal on the chair, angry and invincible on the slopes.
I could never catch him except in those cases where he fell, and once I landed so hard and twisted so gruesomely, that weeks later it still hurts to walk on my left knee, and I limp slightly at work, which I try to pass off as swagger.
For some reason, I won a scholarship, and with it I have to attend a conference in DC, making it 10 years in a row I have to be in DC for some reason or another, and I'm not complaining, because it's a great town, but I kept thinking 2014 was supposed to mark a new phase in my life, but it all blends together as though these random assignments of meaning we ascribe to our selfish existences aren't taken into consideration at all by the universe's strategic planning committee. Seriously, sometimes I think we're all alone out here.
My daughter said, 'Dad, I know you don't believe in heaven, but if it exists and you die and come back, who will you visit and what will you do?' I said, 'I will visit you, and ask you for a beer, which is sad because you're going to have to clean it up when it all winds up on the floor.'