As I looked in the mirror this morning and saw the man gazing back I noticed aside from the hardened unshaved face a sparkling tear trickling down my cheek. Its significance just beginning to take shape in my mind yet already having effected my soul.
Awakened at five thirty the alarm clock blaring. After shutting off the offending beep, beep of the clock I turned to the kitchen and started the coffee. A necessity after thirty years of addiction. As I headed to the bathroom to begin my daily ritual and get ready to start the day. I heard the gradually increasing volume of my cell phones ring “Respect your self …..Are you talking to me” I reached down and looked to see who would be calling at this hour. I got a smile as I looked at the caller ID and saw my son’s name scrolling across the screen. Hello handsome I said as I answered how are you this morning. Aww this sucks was his reply. What sucks I asked although I thought I knew the answer before I asked, school I thought. Today however was to be very different.
“It sucks that you are such a f-up and loser. I can’t believe you are not here mom dumped you your job dumped you ,you can’t even afford to buy me the tickets to that concert I had asked about months ago. The tickets are only twenty-five dollars dad all of my friends are going you said you would get them for me and the concert is this Sunday! “. I was just hit with a brick and had to sit as he ranted and the tears began to build inside me. He continued with his list of complaints and I listened quietly as he cursed and screamed into the phone. When he finished I asked was that all and then proceeded to explain that yes I was getting his ticket and the tickets for his sister and three of his friends.
It was a difficult time for me I explained work was slow the city was in economic turmoil the stock market and financial institutions were in trouble and there was just no work. I am a carpenter and have had a very fortunate bit of luck the last twenty years. I made good money no in fact great money as a Union carpenter in New York City. It was very heart breaking to have been laid off and even more so to have lost my family and gone through a bitter divorce but the heart ache I felt at that moment was just unbearable.
I assured my son a young man of fourteen that his tickets would be there for him as I had ordered them on-line two days prior and as thing were difficult and after the fees and taxes were added the five tickets at twenty-five dollars each were totaled they cost me one hundred and eighty-five dollars I could not afford the extra twenty-five dollars for overnight shipping so I took the standard mail option and the ticket seller guaranteed that the tickets would be there two days prior to the concert.
I apologized for not being there and I reminded him how wonderful his mother was and that things sometimes don’t work out when differences arise and can’t be worked out. He responded with an f/u dad and if my tickets aren’t here by Friday don’t call me anymore you asshole and then the phone went silent as he hung up.
I went and poured my cup of coffee fighting back the tears not sure if I felt mad at him or me not sure if I should cry or scream. At that moment I felt like a failure as a father and a human being. I poured the half and half in my cup I observed how white and pure it appeared. I wished I was that pure…
Just a short page from a book I have been working on for a while. Not being a writer yet having great desire in my heart to share my story and that of those that have helped me make positive changes in my life and that of those that know me. Most of the books I read of people that have been through great hardship or negative situations have been of inspiration to me in times of trouble. Many are of people who have endured far more than I yet it is my hope to provide another perspective.
Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts and feelings with you. I hope we can all put our best foot forward and make positive change for our selves and our fellow human beings. I also hope if you have thoughts or perhaps some constructive advise or recommendations on my writing or my thoughts please share them …