Sometimes telling a story is the easiest way for me to communicate.
I was standing in the most lucious green grass you could imagine. My bare were given a gift of warmth every time I touched down on the soft, inviting ground. The sun bathed me in its golden, life-giving, light and brought out the pink in my cheeks which hides under my freckles always searching for an excuse to radiate from my face. I giggled and spun around with my hands in the air. That air. Oh that sweet summer air. Mixed with the scent of the grass--it was too much. I breathed in deeply filling my lungs. My enjoyment of the June weather was suspended by the sound of a soft neigh to my right. I whipped around to find the source of that disruption, and my mouth dropped. Standing in a beam of light staring at me with eyes that begged for attention, was a perfect unicorn. Being that I was seven and had been hoping and praying for a unicorn since LAST Christmas, I was completely overtaken with awe. Instantly I bolted for my hearts one love. Ah! I was so close! I couldn't almost feel its warm breath on my hand, but just before I could indulge myself, I felt what seemed to be my dress ripped off of me. All of the sudden the sun disappeared and cold enveloped me. Something had me by the left ankle. I yanked away and blindly grabbed for my dress but to no avail.
I woke up in my bed pawing for my pink and white blanket which had proved a faithful companion over the years. Mom was standing over me holding the blanket and grinning. "Gooooood morning!! It's a beautiful day!! NOW WAKE UP!!!!" She screamed. gh. That was the THIRD unicorn dream this week. I hoped again that Santa would deliver this Christmas for the sake of my sanity. Hiding my face under the pillow in frustration, I contemplated whether I could get away with falling asleep again. It was Saturday after all and it was only around 10, still plenty of time for dreaming. I slowly began drifting back to a reality in which miracles were possibilities, but then I remember the most important thing about Saturday's and bolted, blanket in tow, from my bed to find Dad.
Ugh! He was ALWAYS asleep and snoring SO loud. I shook him as hard as I could with my not-so-little-for-a-seven-year-old body, screaming at him to wake up. He flipped onto his back and exhaled with so much vigor that he ripped a huge fart that instantly filled the bedroom wall to wall with thick stench. To this day, he will never understand how pungent those first of the morning pifters can be. I naturally began to punish him for what he'd done, pounding on his chest and screaming for justice after such an indecent act. As always, as soon as he tasted or smelled what he had done(I honestly don't know which came first), he burst into laughter and let another one rip. My poor nose! I was enraged! Beating again on his unhindered chest I demanded his attention. I wouldn't give up until I got my way, and he knew it. He laughed again then swooped me up and plopped me on the bed with him like a sack of potatoes.
I sat with him there for over an hour utterly enchanted. He had an amazing way of taking you to another place. I loved how it was so easy to tell something funny was coming because always, without fail, he would chuckle a little at his own sense of humor before telling a joke. To my seven year old brain, his stories of The Four Foot Church which had a bucket for a baptistry, the vampires in the woods that weren't evil after all, but in fact lonely beings searching for friends, and Billy, who got out of school by shoving mayo up his nose and convincing his parents it was snot from a cold(all of these are true), were soothing to my soul. I needed Dad that day because it was Saturday, and on Saturday's, stories just happened. It's what we did. And without fail, every time I came bounding in begging for entertainment in the form of tall tales, he obliged with pure joy.
A few Saturday's ago, I needed Dad again. It had been a rough month filled with a lot of tough decisions, and my spirit needed something soothing which I knew just where to find. I showed up at my parents doorstep after work, still looking like a fool in my uniform. As always, I was welcomed without question, and with an underlying warmth that communicated such pure love. This Saturday, the constant companion which accompanied me to the door was not the trusty blanket I couldn't go without, but rather a heavy, burdened heart. And this Saturday, the solace and peace that I sought wasn't in the form of stories, but rather honest conversation and an episode of Jeopardy--Two things my Dad was never without. We talked for a good hour then turned on the Tube and I annihilated that poor guy 20 correct answers to his three. Both the crushing victory and the hashing out of lifes endless problems made my countenance perk right up, and I left that night at peace.
Dad, I never told you this, but as we played that game of jeopardy I looked at you, and for once my perception of you wasnt clouded by my own selfishness, and I saw you clearly for who you really are. And Dad, you are the man who, from the moment I was born, have taken me into your heart and cared for me with a fierce unbreakable love. You sat there in that chair listening intently for the clues to our game, and I was utterly humbled by the man who sat before me. The man who would do anything for my sake and has fought to provide for me despite almost incomprehensible odds, who has loved me with a love that Eros himself would seek to understand, who sits in silence and suffers daily all the while thinking only of those around him. Dad, time is a cruel thing and often I'm bitter towards it, but I'm so thankful that it has given me the ability to look back on those Saturday's as a seven year old with more understanding. I finally get it! I finally can comprehend why you enjoyed those mornings so much. It's not because you got to surprise attack me with farts, it's not because you got to tell stories or eat coffee nips, it's not even because you got to lounge in your pajamas. It's because on Saturday mornings you had a blonde, energetic, seven year old girl who demanded time with you, and that gave you the thing you cherish most. I know it's all you want Dad. All you want is time with those closest to your pure heart, and I love you for it.
I am overwhelmed by the ways I haven't been there for you as a daughter, but I want you to know however utterly broken things may seem sometimes, I hope I can work to slowly put them back together, and I thank heaven you have the patience to let me try. I know we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but I want you to know that all of those things are trivial now, because I finally see you. I finally see the depth of how you've cared for me. I'm going to make mistakes, I'm going to be selfish, I'm going go get scared, but tonight I have clarity and I want you to know it. There is no way that this could ever be enough, but thank you. Thank you Dad for making me proud as hell to be your daughter whether 7, 20, 40, 80 or 100. I love you.
Monday, October 21, 2013
The Almighty In-N-Out Burger
Before I really jump into this post, I'd like to take a moment to thank you, whoever you may be, for reading this. Whether you're a horse wearing a lime costume, a robot with opposable thumbs, or a good old fashioned human being, the fact that you are taking time out of your life to view this makes me happy. You've brightened my day, and I am in your debt. Now, let's get to the heart of this post.
I was lying on the couch sipping a far too sweet glass of lemonade, while limply holding a remote, my finger pressed hard on the scroll button. Infomercial after infomercial passed before my eyes and ran together in a blur of Spanish and English which begged me to do one thing... BUY ME. Suddenly I heard a severe rumbling thunder-like sound, which slowly faded into a squeak. I puzzled to determine where the sound came from... The dry heat of summer, and the rays of sun which smashed against my closed windows searching for any crevice by which they might enter into the cool house and cause me to perspire severely in my underarms, told me this wasn't thunder. Perhaps I was just hearing things.
Again the rumbling sound shook my ear drums. This time there was no doubt where it came from. I stared down at my stomach. I needed lunch, and I needed it bad. My brain scrolled through food item after food item just like the television infomercials. I waited anxiously to have a food plastered across my brain which would entice me enough to devour it. The answer came shortly. An In-N-Out burger flashed across my cranium, and the scrolling stopped. My chops were hanging open, and saliva streamed out as if I didn't know how to shut my trap(well... I actually don't know how. That's one skill my mother failed to teach me. To this day I wear a giant bib to catch the cups of drool that pour out of my halatosis ridden pie hole). The thought of the succulent meat and soft tan bun which enveloped the glorious sandwich drove me mad. I started foaming at the mouth and pounding my chest like a gorilla. And then came the withdrawal symptoms... I scratched my neck and twitched uncontrollably. It had been far too long since I had my In-N-Out fix. Running to my room, I frantically grabbed my keys and managed to put on one sock. Before you could say "Hello, my name is Amy. I have no life and all of my friends pretend to like me" I was out the door.
After driving for an eternity (probably three minutes), I arrived at the establishment which served burgers from the heavens above. Dashing through the parking lot, my feet were singed by the scalding concrete, and I realized that I had not managed to put on any shoes. But it didn't matter. NOTHING MATTERED. Not even the fact that I hadn't showered yet, and was wearing a pink neon shirt which read "I pee in pools". I wasn't too worried about my appearance as it was about 3:30 in the afternoon. Not prime lunchtime. Ha! What a fool I was! As I walked up to the door I saw a plethora (I don't know what this word means, but I feel refined using it), of college football players in full uniform filling the lobbing, and spilling out of the building. I tried to think of a way to slip into the line undetected... So I started crawling. But, I forgot one important thing; crawling does not make you invisible. To this day, no one has ever looked at me the way those football stars did. They never said a word, but simply stared in disbelief as I did what I'm sure was the worst impersonation of a crouching lion ever to grace this green earth.
Slowly the line dwindled down, and I made it to the register. I ordered a number two with no onions and a vanilla milkshake. The girl told me I was number 67, and I sat down to wait. For the first few minutes I amused myself by making jokes in my head about the giant diaper pins that all the servers had to wear, but then I looked down at my bib and was silenced. The anticipation was killing me. I didn't realize this until I got home, but the anxiousness which I felt caused me to rise slowly out of my chair. I was now half standing half sitting, clutching my receipt, drooling into my bib, and swaying back and forth like a mad man. Over the loud speaker I heard "62...63...64...65...66..." I never have had feelings for a number before, but when I heard '67' called out, I instantly fell in love. I pounced on my food and dashed across the room screaming "FOR NARNIA!!" Don't ask me why. I was overcome with joy and it was the first sentence which entered my mind.
Driving home I enjoyed the sweet smell of perfection which emitted from the white bag carefully buckled into my passenger seat. I passed a homeless man on the streets, and threw millions of dollars worth of change at him from my middle console (sitting here writing this now, I realize that in reality it was a seven year old child with a table, and numerous glasses of yellow liquid lined up behind a sign which read "free lemonade". I was wondering why that homeless man was so incredibly short... And also why he had a table.) Nothing could ever go wrong. I was so happy. SO HAPPY!! Pulling into the drive way, I leaped like a gazelle from my car, and pranced across the driveway to the front door. I slid on my one sock across the dining room, plopped myself down on the couch, and flipped on the TV just in time for a new episode of Parks and Recreation. Biting into that burger, I have never felt such satisfaction and bliss. Below are some pictures of what I enjoyed that day. If you want lifelong happiness, go get one yourself.