The morning came soft and quiet, down in the basement bed room. The coffee didn’t brew as loud as the days I was growing up in my childhood home; the sound of the bean grinder, my dad’s sneezing fits, and the gurgle of the pot were replaced with a simple button touch on a Keruig. My dad was already awake in the pale light of the kitchen with his back to the windows and his frame hunched over his computer at the table. I greeted him with a “Good Morning.”
He acknowledged my awakening with the idea to go to First Watch for breakfast. Initially, I was confused by the notion, considering the only First Watch I knew of was several miles away. He eased that notion by informing me that a First Watch had opened in the store front where Blockbuster used to be just a mere 6 blocks from the house.
Ahhh, Blockbuster. I remember the days where I could go to Blockbuster, rent dirty, horror movies, buy CDS (fun fact: I bought Will Smith’s Big WIllie Style at Blockbuster), get a diabetic serving of Snowcaps, Raisinettes, and Milk Duds for a mere 10 bucks and change — then I would make my way to QuickTrip and fill my tank with gas using the change left from my twenty dollar bill. Inflation is a BITCH.
So, as we sat in the horror/thriller section of Blockbuster — er — middle of the restaurant near the patio door of First Watch, our conversation about eastern philosophy, from the night before, had shifted to the fundamentals of being a libertarian, and the difference between being a conservative and a republican, John Locke had a quick cameo, and our server had a couple too. Then we discussed my plans for the rest of the day.
*In an effort to save face of my peers, I will use aliases from this point on*
“I think I may go over to Blake’s house and catch up with him and his wife before the reunion. We spoke the other day, and he mentioned that a few other people were going to come over for drinks. Then I think we are going to take a cab to the reunion. It should be fun. When we get back to the house I will shower, shave, and get dressed. What about you, what are your plans for the day?”
My dad sat with the smirk he has that is hard to tell if he is happy, or barely listening. “I have a list of honey-do chores I need to get done before the girls get back from Chicago. So, I’m going to mow, weed, finish the hand rail on the front porch, and then do some work that I have been putting off. So, I’m pretty busy.”
I wasn’t sure if he was trying to guilt trip me into helping or not, but if he was….it nearly worked. I legitimately considered saying “I’ll mow if you want,” but instead I said, “Man, that is an action packed day. Do you know where the bathroom is, my hands are sticky from the syrup.”
When I returned from the bathroom, my dad was paying the bill and I left the tip, we walked out together and headed back to the house.
I showered, trimmed my beard, and brushed my teeth, before battling over which tie I should wear for the reunion. I couldn’t decide if I should go with the bright plaid skinny tie, or the dark sophisticated fat tie. I asked my dad for help. He told me unless I was going to wear a fedora I should stay away from the skinny tie, because it made me look like a hipster.
“I kind of am a hipster though, dad.”
“Suit your self son.”
I went with the dark sophisticated tie, but I wore my brown Vans.
I left, not expecting to see my dad again for the duration of my trip. I hugged him sincerely and told him I loved him. He returned both, and I was off to Blake’s house.
On the way, I had a little bit of time to kill, so I called up another old friend that was selling cars near by Blake’s house. I asked if he had a couple minutes to kill, he confirmed that he did and I promptly drove over to his Cadillac dealership and greeted him as he gushed over a Beamer that had just hit the lot. We talked for about 45 minutes, and then he had a customer that he had been talking to over the phone, from Oklahoma, or Nevada, or Idaho…..I don’t remember and it doesn’t really matter, arrived to buy a slick new ride. We exchanged our goodbyes and again I was on the road.
I arrived at Blake’s house just before 4 and was greeted by a half clothed Blake, warning me that his wife Clarice was getting ready. We hugged and I let him finish getting dressed, by pouring myself a Jameson on the rocks. I snooped around their house, pet their dog, and smoked a cigarette on their back patio.
To be continued….