|21 January 2004
Interesting: I sent my dad a Christmas card, complete with a picture of John. He called.
"You've got to come to Baton Rouge!" he said. "I want to see the baby!"
And who can blame him, really? It's a new grandchild and all. Anyway, he called again a few days ago and proposed we come see him this weekend. He said we'd have a cookout and I could meet my sisters. I thought that sounded okay, so we're going Saturday. It will be very strange, I think. I haven't seen the man since I was six or so, and I wasn't terribly fond of him then - he was there and then not-there too much for me to get attached. So it's not like there's going to be a tearful reunion or anything. But it should be interesting, anyway. I'm cautiously optomistic. If nothing else he's gonna love the kid, right? So we have something in common immediately.
I know a lot of kids - children and adults both - who go through a divorce feel guilt, but I never did. That probably has something to do with my inability to feel guilty - I was born that way - but I don't blame anyone, either. I wasn't incredibly attached to my dad, and my family in West Memphis was all any kid could ask for.
Still, I think it will be very interesting to have some sort of relationship with the man whose name I share. And I can only assume he and his other kids (there are two girls and a boy, I think, but don't hold me to that) will be as fascinated with my kid as I am.
That's something Sonya and I talked about the other day.
"I have to make an effort," she told me, "to not constantly talk about John. And I could! I just don't want to be one of those people."
"I feel the same way," I said, "I don't understand why people aren't as fascinated with him as I am, but I know they're not. 'Cause I could talk about him all the time. But I don't."
"Our neighborhood's very suburban," said a coworker who lives on the westbank.
"That's what we need," I told her, "we got a kid, my wife drives an SUV. We're no longer cool. We should move out of the city and make room for some hipsters."
My new car doesn't have a CD player. It only has a tape player. And I've got to get a new antenna for my satellite radio before I can listen to it in the car again - which Sonya has promised to get me for our anniversary. Best. Wife. Ever.
For about a decade Sonya and I hauled around a couple of bags of cassettes, some dating back to our respective junior high careers. Old stuff, and a lot of crap for the most part. Right after we moved to New Orleans we went through it all and made a big pile to take to the Salvation Army store. We both picked out thirty or so cassettes each to keep. We put them away and haven't touched them except for when we took a tape player to the beach this summer.
But now I need tunes! After spoiling myself with XM for the past year regular radio is more unlistenable than ever, so I had to get out the tapes and start listening again. I've got a few mix tapes, a hip hop compilation, the Pixies Doolittle (which is such a great album I can't even put it into words) and Neneh Cherry's Raw Like Sushi. Two words: Buffalo Stance. Is that a great tune or what? I was listening to it on the way to work this morning (after dropping off John, of course - I'm not going to blow out his precious little ears) and that's such a great fucking tune, dude. It totally sounds like my senior year of high school. I remember dancing around to that tune when I was working behind the counter at Baskin Robbins. A good friend of mine in high school was like "what do you want for Christmas?" and I was like "I want Raw Like Sushi, dude!" and they looked at me funny 'cause I was a heavy metal hoodlum, but they got it for me. I think it was my friend Jennifer, acutally. She lives in the suburbs now and teaches grade school. And my friend Glen bought a house and an SUV and he and his fiancee are planning a wedding. And I've got a freaking kid! We're all grown up! We might be old!