It was your regular Wednesday and I spent it much like every other person: tweeting bogus song information via TwitterFox. Actually, it wasn't all bogus, because I have in fact listened to Shaun Cassidy. Sure, it was over 30 years ago and was my girlfriend's idea, but still. Late that night, I worked on some writing while monitoring the goings on at the opening Springsteen show out in San Jose. Yes, that Twitter thing is coming in handy, no doubt.
So yeah, it was pretty much an ordinary day. What surprised me was that I wasn't particularly bummed out. See, April 1st was my dad's birthday. He would have be 87. The date had been looming out there in front of me but when it finally arrived I discovered that it wasn't so bad. It wasn't even like I was distracting myself from the reality of the situation. It was just sort of…there.
Yesterday was different. Maybe there was a time lag between the event and the emotion, but no, there was something else. In a pile of papers yet to be dealt with were two checks made out to my dad. One of them was an overcharge refund from his cell phone company (I swear, getting your own money back from these people is like trying to make maple syrup by boiling down pond water), and the other was from his car company, who had charged him for the tires that he actually had covered via one of those "tires for life" things. So again, no big deal. I'm on the joint account so popping the checks into an envelope and stuffing them in the mail was easy.
I signed the tires check and then grabbed the other. Dad had already signed it, and I'd forgotten that he had. My dad used to have a beautiful signature. This was different. It was easy to see that in his diminished state, he could barely drag a pen across the paper. I had a vague remembrance of him telling me to use the money to buy me and TheWife™ a nice dinner…
And then I felt paralyzed by grief. It's written that this kind of thing comes in waves. There's truth in that. It does. And the waves can knock you right on your ass.
For a good part of the rest of the day, I found the anger rising. Not in my own situation, or in what had transpired with my dad, but in other people. The level of senseless complaint was amazing. Sure, it's nothing new. Folks complain about stuff all the time, especially now that the Internet gives them a ready conduit. Normally, I'm all about the conduit. Yesterday? Maybe not. The usual whining about politics, though I did manage to avoid most of it, went beyond wasted thought. The bitching about the Springsteen setlist seemed even more pathetic than usual. Oh, he played "Waiting On A Sunny Day." Yes, that's just fucking terrible now, isn't it? Right.
There was one bright spot. A tweet came in proclaiming that spring had arrived in Scotland.
And so it has.