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Showing posts from February, 2013

Disconnected

Notes from today's WALK... Ding . That is the sound of a text message. Ding. There’s another one. It is a high pitched bell, like the ones on reception desks that say, “Please ring for service.” The ones that make you feel like a jerk for ringing them. Ding. I try not to bring my phone on the WALK, but sometimes it cannot be avoided. When I’m not walking or writing, I have another job. One that actually pays. And the people with whom I work expect me to be available. They expect me to respond and communicate, often instantaneously. They expected me to be connected. Always connected. Over the years, I’ve learned the rhythms of my paying job. I can anticipate when expectations will be highest, when I need to be on call. But there are times when no one will need me for a while. I can usually see them coming. An hour here, an afternoon there, when clients will be occupied elsewhere and colleagues won’t need a timely reply. I try to take the WALK during

Selected Shorts

It is raining and dark on the drive home from my father and stepmother’s house in Fairfax. The wind buffets my car as we travel cautiously on tree-shrouded Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. My headlights bounce off the wet road, obscuring the painted lane makers. It’s December 1 st and we’ve just celebrated Christmas for the first of what will be four times this year; a product of divorces, remarriages, in laws, exes, and the fact that my wife and I chose to raise our children within an hour of all of these people. The children in my backseat – my children – are exhausted. My son changed into his pajamas before we left. He was asleep before the windshield was fully defrosted. My daughter is awake. She has always fought sleep like an unbroken horse fights a bridle. She sits silently back there, punishing me for having countermanded her mother’s promise that we’d have time to read stories when we get home.   At last, she speaks. “Dad?” “Yes.” “Never mind.” “What is it?” “Y

Playing with Himself

Notes from today's WALK...     My son plays with himself. In the backyard. He goes out there alone, often in the morning, sometimes before any of the rest of us are out of bed. I can see him through the sliding glass door that leads from our bedroom to the yard. I’m not sure if he knows I’m watching. I am sure he would not care. When he plays with himself, it is as though he’s the only person in the entire world. And nothing could make me happier. I hear the kitchen door open. He steps from the deck onto the grass, barefooted, still wearing his pajamas.   He wears his tiny leather glove on his left hand and holds a ball in his right. He stands at the edge of the grass in the morning mist, gathering himself. The narration begins. Pablo Sandoval at bat. Cardinals pitcher winds up and pitches! He throws the ball against the concrete retaining wall and it ricochets into play. And Pablo crushes it. He’s rounding first. He’s going to second. He chases after th

The Big D

Notes from today's WALK... Until I was 35, the phrase, “Big D” was most immediately associated with Dallas, the city. I knew its other meaning, but that came second. Now, pushing 40, “D” is divorce. First and last. It’s possible that, as mental associations go, migrating from Dallas to Divorce could be considered an upgrade. But that is beside the point. Suddenly, marriages are ending left and right. The onset of divorce apparently coincides with a particular age or stage in life. Like dementia.  Not mine, of course. I am blessed with a happy marriage. Not that I’m na├»ve, mind you. Both my wife and I come from broken homes. I know the myriad reasons marriages end. Most of them are good reasons, in the sense that the reasons for getting divorced often outweigh the reasons for staying married (and in more than a few cases, getting married). The part that’s so vexing is that most divorcees seem genuinely shocked that it’s over. Despite months or years of evidence to the

No One Like Me

Notes from the WALK Is mine a singular genius? Is this idea I have as miraculous as it seems? These thoughts course through my brain as my feet lead me home.  It is a movie idea; one I’ve had for years. The opening scene has been scripted and plotted since day one. It was the seed; germinated but somehow not sprouted. It rests in outline form in one of three notebooks I keep for such things. God, I hope I can find it. I birthed the climactic scene about six months ago. It is still in my head, fully realized, if not documented. I feel I could pour it onto a page at a moment’s notice, if need be. Need, in this case, is apparently a producer making such a demand? Perhaps it is time to redefine need .  Until now, the rest of the movie hasn’t existed. Actually, it has existed in the sense that I’ve always known there was a whole movie there. It’s just that I had only two scenes in mind. Sometimes that’s all you need. A beginning and an end. But today, on the WAL