I thought a good night’s sleep – in my own bed instead of on an inflatable Coleman mattress – would help clear the fog that rolled in over the lengthy holiday weekend. Not the sated and soothing sort of grogginess the media likes to blame on gluttonous tryptophan intake. Rather, a disconcerting unease that comes with seeing a situation clearly for the first time . . . an acknowledgement of powerlessness, where circumstances and consequences are out of reach, not in your control, but weigh heavy nonetheless.
Alas, I am mistaken. And, for the time being, at a loss for words.
So I invite you to join me as I disconnect a bit and take a stroll through the tattered pages of my scrapbook . . .
Me, pre-Unibrow. Whatever I’m looking at must have been simply amazing . . .
May 31, 1991. Bemidji, Minnesota. Wedding rehearsal dinner. Were I a guest on This Is Your Life, these are some of the folks I’d like to see Ralph Edwards pull out of the wings. Especially that little guy on the left. He came to stay with us for a week after the wedding, and a conscientious neighbor confused him for Jacob Wetterling. It’s the only time in my life police investigators have knocked on my door . . .
Blurry. But not the memories. A litter of puppies that came too soon. A shallow hole dug near the driveway. Frantically dousing them with water from a glass, hoping they’d wake up. Crying . . .
Yeah, I earned all those. Worked my ass off to earn my Eagle Scout rank before I turned sixteen. How the hell I managed to get my Fishing merit badge is beyond me . . .
Funny. How a smile can say more than any word. A smile is a peak that says things are alright for the time being. Or maybe his hands were cold. A tickle spot, caressed. A smile can light the world . . .
Have you noticed? My right ear sorta leans forward and sticks out a bit. Even before my sisters found yanking on it to be so much fun. And I would kill to own a shirt like that again . . .
Thanksgiving, 1984. Sauk Village, Illinois. Big mistake, putting that plate of heat-n-serve rolls so close. My dad built that table. It weighed roughly the same as a Pinto and barely fit into the dining room. We had to use extreme caution because the legs weren’t quite finished and were attached somewhat provisionally. Amazing how something so incomplete and wobbly can carry the day . . .
Spring, 1987. I’ve been staring at this one for five minutes now and can’t come up with a single thing that I feel like sharing. Such is the weight of it all . . .
So I’ll leave you with this one. When all else leaves you speechless, there is still football. Roger Staubach had way cool hair, and Danny White was the hero waiting in the wings. It’s just a shame they never could figure out how to beat Terry Bradshaw and the Pittsburgh Steelers. We hated that man . . .
[insert ominous thudding noise as I slam the cover closed and prepare to face the week ahead]