Friday, January 3, 2014

I was at Family Dollar earlier. Just in front of me at the checkout counter was this handsome cowboy, his pretty wife and their two kids. The daughter around 7 or 8 had wrapped herself around the dad's long long and was doing ballet moves while holding on to him to keep steady. He dials his phone and I listen. His voice, as manly as his countenance , he seemed to be looking for way to end the phone call as soon as it started. Something in the tone of his voice reminded me of the phone calls to my dad. Stilted and halting, "Well, ....I..Just wanted to wish you a ....happy birthday before they day got away". "Well, I'll try to get by next weekend but I can't say for sure. "Okay", "Well, you know..we love you". He hit the end button and looked his wife. Wife "how was he". Husband, "couldn't wait to tell me his OTHER two sons both got big deers this week". Wife rolled eyes, husband shrugged. Clinton's heart broke a little. He scooped his kids up like a grizzly bear and they disappeared while my Alka Seltzer was rung up. I have made hundreds of calls like that. I felt lonely in the middle of those "How is the weather calls" and depressed when they were over. It was a tiny slice of "REALITY THEATER" happening 2 feet from me and it drives the point home once more, we are all more alike than we are different. Phone calls to my dad are better these days. I don't feel depressed when I phone him or see him, but it's no fantasy ending either. I let him be who he is, which is a man who doesn't navigate emotion well and feels more at ease with horses and cows and I show up as myself, a much less desperate angry truer version of myself. Sometimes we talk about the weather. He's a farmer and the weather is a big deal to them but when it happens it doesn't hurt. Lower realistic expectations have given me a real freedom from the crazy fantasy in my head of what our relationship was suppose to be like. It's a freedom I take, these days I am ALL ABOUT collecting the freedoms, Bitches!

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