Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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What if . . . our taste for alcohol has been strengthened and preserved in our gene pool for functional reasons? Then we might look at intoxication not as a side note but as part of the story of what makes us human.
We all need to accept that the world at large is indifferent to our existence. Most of our decisions matter only to us. I could drink tonight, and no one would know.
Kayla and I were not friends, so when she called me out of the blue, on a blistering July morning, to ask if I wanted to join her and her dad on the lake for the day, it was like NASA calling to invite me to the moon.
For all Dad’s skill with wood and tools, his life was sloppily built. Some sorrow whose origins I can’t name led him to consistently misread the ruler. What does a son do with the wreckage of his father’s life forty-six years after his death?
Six weeks ago my wife walked into our living room to find me curled up on the couch, sobbing. In our twenty-one years of marriage we had experienced a lot of griefs, big and little, but she’d never seen me cry like this.
After graduation, after a divorce, after an election
I read all the literature hospice brought: Give the gift of comfort and calm. Give them support, permission. Give them more than they gave you.
When he tired of talking, he’d slap a red, hand-shaped conclusion to the quarrel onto my face, pressing his brand upon me, the mark that labeled me as his.
It was the first Friday of spring break, 1984, when I climbed into the bed of Greg’s compact truck, leaned back against the cab, and watched the keg party fade into the distance as we drove away.