February 20, 2016

But The Ticket Take The Ride

The morning began in grey and clouds and exhaustion. I was thinking of next week- no more report card comments cramping my style, pay-day, maybe some new shoes, a midweek movie, a Friday night out with drinks and the ease of a job completed.

After a week in Kenya followed by a week of report writing, a normal week at work feels like a holiday. That can't be right.

I woke up early and started on the reports first thing in the morning. Ben Harper sang on Spotify and both my kids sat around reading while I worked. That is until they got bored and started fighting, arguing and screaming.

I was a terrible dad. Instead of trying to help them or guide them, I just yelled too:

  • “Can you two just go in your rooms and find something else to do! 
  • I need to finish these reports. I can’t have you out here making so much noise. 
  • I don’t care if your bored, just find something to do. 
  • I said no TV or screen time. (Why I didn’t just put in a movie I don’t know? I will tomorrow morning for sure.) 
  • If you are going to be so mean to your sister and throw a tantrum every time you get frustrated than just go to time-out for ten minutes."
I wasn’t even looking at them. Just head in the screen typing away about reading habits and developing writing skills. It was not a pretty sight. I took a great shot of Skye, but if that gave the false impression of a morning of peace at our house, then I am here to confess that I was a mean bastard and not a very good parent this morning. What makes it worse, I never apologized to the girls. I will wait to finish this cursed work and make it up to them next week.

Time hop told me that today is the day Hunter S. Thompson died. Well, he didn’t just die, he actually shot himself, nevertheless this is the day that he left us, and although I have written about him several times on my blog, I feel it is necessary to at least scribble a few more words here and now. Perhaps looking at Hunter as a man and a father and a writer, as a forty year old father and aspiring feminist myself, I might see him differently than I did so many years ago, but it is important to remember why our heroes were our heroes when we were young.

From the time I was seventeen till I was about thirty, HST was the epitome of who I wanted to be as a person. He was a god to all us reckless, misguided adventurers and wanna be writers. A symbol of pure freedom. Hunter did whatever the hell he wanted and for mere mortals like us living in the cages of society he was a true outlaw and someone to be admired. There is so much more to say about his influence on my life, but now is not the time to do it justice.

When we get a tattoo, we run the risk of regretting it as we age. But even at my age , I look fondly at the fist tattoo that is his symbol tattoo on my sternum. I remember the day I stumbled into a Haight Street tattoo shop and had it inked on my chest. I remember feeling the buzz of the needle in my toes and my finger tips. I remember thinking that no matter who I became and no matter what I ended up doing, I would always cherish the spirit of rebellion and freedom. I would always aspire to be myself-whoever that person happened to be at the time. I promised myself that I would always champion the underdog and fight the status quo. I would always say yes when a choice was offered and that I would live my life as if it could end tomorrow. I would seek out adventure and push myself beyond any limits that others might put in my way.

I am not sure if I have lived up to these lofty goals, but I can say that in my heart, I am still trying. I love Hunter S. Thompson and everything he stood for and I am grateful that I encountered his work when I did. He shaped the man I am today, probably more than any other person in my life and that has to mean something.

I want to say more, but the words have dried up.

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