The Boy Teacher and The Father Student $51; Back to Dad
Questions of a Father's Father
For some strange reason we felt short on this season of love. (no not “fell”. I have five for this series in the hopper but something crossed me sideways. While tilling soil with my shovel it hit upon me. My dad! He played a mean Bugle and boxed his way through Med. School. He paid his way with bare bones and hard knocks.
I could throw a curve ball hard at 6 years old. I could shoot a beer bottle at 100 yards at 7 years old. Dad taught me. He made sure I knew how to dig an irrigation ditch just before 8 years old. I was born with a “twisted” foot. My right went backwards. No cure in the fifties of our last century. Dad used me as a guinea pig and fixed it. Maybe that is why he adopted me. Though I was in braces I walked across a gym floor at 4 years old to the delight of 20 doctors watching. (Think Forest Gump) So here is a talk beginning with me in “Flagtown” and he just back from a place we called the Ivory Coast. President Johnson made him Chief of Public Health for the U.S.A. or some such ridiculous notion.
So dad and I talked. We go with familiar format but somethings do not fit in the box. For anyone who cares this is the “continuation” of the last fictitious article in this series.
F: Boy I am sorry to be away. How are you?
B: Someone said that I am good if I can talk to you. But I just miss you.
F: Boy sometimes doing good means something like not doing good for you.
B: I get it but it still hurts me, I miss you so much.
F: Son we are together.
Dad I know you are dead. But if I put pen to paper I know you hear me. I feel like I am not strong enough without you. But know you are with me but still…. Please talk to me.
F: Can you feel me? I am in your heart. Maybe I was a bad dad by leaving you. But I think I was a good dad by having you in my heart. Maybe I would have caused more harm by being around.
B: Bullshit dad. You left me when you were only in your eighties. You should have hung out longer. I resent you for leaving me. You piss me off.
Chicken Pox. Home Sick But Mom Would Not Accept Sick, So We Danced.
We Do Not Feel Hot Days We Are Joyous in Them
And what is it in this world? Why can’t we just leave wounds of loss and not pick at them and not just keep going back and back for more pain? My dad “is” so great. Note that us Christians do or perhaps should not say “was”. Our resurrection notion is our reality.
F: This is your dear old pops on the radio. Remember when your mom and I would tune in the old Phillips and listen to Sonny Listen kick butt and your mom praising American Black men. Of course no candle to Harry Belafonte who I was jealous of. Remember I taught you “In My Fathers house”.
B: Oh for sure dad I remember to dance do some tap dancing to JOY. Won’t you come along with me. I reckon you still can. I figure you are still there.
B: Why did you teach me Latin? Sure it has served me well but that is so strange to do. You made me live in clouds which is fine but I am quite poor. Why couldn’t you teach me how to be rich, would it be sad.
F: Son now put your hands out like you are holding the best ladies’ hands. One around the waist and one, the right, up high. Smile like strife left you and you glide. This I taught you.
B: Daddio I assume that you know when mom was in the nursing home I danced with her. The piano player knew Jamaica Farewell and mom and I danced a ball room dance to it. She called me Hugh, your name. Maybe up there in heaven you know better than me. Oh for sure the old folk clapped at the swoop.
F: Son we did not dance with each other we learned to dance together. Remember how you did the “twist”? I am still laughing to this day in where I am at.
B: “Let me go home whiskey” I think old Amos Milburn. I taught all your grandchildren that song. Of course I still spread a little Cornmeal on the kitchen floor and do some old soft shoe. My boy’s mom gets irritated with it. What else are dress shoes for except for church? I still remember you introducing me to Sammy Davis.
F: Remember son to let your arms flow like the waves, it is not just for balance but for class. And remember that you are the instrument with your style. Never touch hard but float. Let them here the music of love.
I Wonder Where Rich Folk Sleep
Aw Heck I can do this in Cowboy Boots!
If You Don't Do This in the Kitchen Get a Live!
Just a Bit Of Love
So they say we move on after a parent’s death. I wonder who thought that crazy notion up. Well in my world we keep moving up. I am supposed to let them pass on. I figured that means to pass on to us. Call me crazy but after death my mom told me that “passing” meant, not to pass them by but pick up the hitchhiker lest you let life pass you by. She must have been on to something. “Move over son and make room for the stranger” seems right to me to this day.
F: Hold on tight to nothing boy.
B: How’s about love dad?
F: Nope, especially love son. The harder you grip the less air is breathed in. Hard to do but necessary.
B: I am not letting go of your grandson and his mom. I refuse. Oh now I get it. That weird concept of let go and let free. But what the heck you still have a grip on me and it feels right.
F: Son you have to let me go. My job on earth was with you. But now you have the job on earth. Let go.
And so it is in our hearts, those that taught us to dance. I don’t reckon I know for you. Fair enough. Act like I tell you so. Funny that does not work. Do as I show you to do? Perhaps that works. I got socks on. I got nothing but a rhythm in my head. I will be back after this dance.
I got out of jail an hour ago. I am free. Oopsy the jail and freedom was just in my head. Mr. Bojangles had the key. I just had to open the jail door with it by dancing the dance of life.
There is a strange culture I am a part of. Do not laugh. We Vietnamese do ancestor worship. We just do weird stuff like anniversaries of their “death” days. Big feasts and I do a sugar sugar dance. Everyone laughs. My language is one of love no matter the occasion. Thanks dad. And thanks to all of you for doing the dance with me.
Sorry another break as I did the “swim” to “Johnny Be Good”. You should teach new dogs old tricks. Enough of me. Please go replant those weeds. Us weeds are worthy too I figure. Even when we are on a crazy place we reside in you by love.