that's him. mi padre. s'where it all started for me.
he taught me how to throw a baseball. and how to catch one. how to ride a bike. how to put a worm on a hook. my dad taught me everything, actually. everything i know, i learned from my dad.
pops taught me how to love. how to cry, and when (often). taught me how to laugh, and when (often). he taught me how to roll a better joint. how to throw darts, shoot pool, pitch a tent, check the oil, change a tire, butter toast, shave, chase skirts, drive... everything.
what's more is that i continue to learn from him, even though we are 700 miles apart and speak but once a month. i often reflect on his life, the path he took, his relations, the things that made him happy, things that broke his heart - and i learn more. i learn what to do, what not to do, how to be, how not to be.
i am my dad. in almost every conceivable way. except dad takes his coffee with cream and sugar and i like mine black. dad is impatient, while i am very patient. and dad says to throw a jab to the nose when confronted with a fist fight, while i maintain that a swift upper-cut is the way to go. dad smokes marlbaros and i switched to american spirits. dad has good penmanship and i have chicken scratch. dad has never been late in his life, and i'm on time if i'm only 15 minutes late (like my mom). dad won't touch seafood and i'll eat anything in the sea. and dad was more of a man at age 13 than i will ever be.
i am my dad. we both cherish solitude and quiet. dad would rather read a dime store novel than talk to you. so would i. it was from him that i inherited my heavy and sentimental heart. i have dad's hazel eyes. i have his temper. i have his voice. his brains. his mannerisms. his taste in music (for the most part). his taste in women (for the most part). i have his tender side. his mean side. i don't have his work ethic, but i'm getting better in that department. i have most of my dad's virtues and all of his flaws. my dad's greatest virtue, and the one that comes most naturally to him, is that he is an amazing father. what's it take to become an amazing father? ... lots. but the first thing that comes to mind is always being there. and my dad was that for me. he was always there. still is. kids need to be able to depend on at least one of their parents and my mom was all over the place. but i had my pops. when i was a young boy, i felt safe in the world because i knew my father existed. i can't imagine how fucked up i'd have turned out without him. ya know, years ago, in my early mid 20's, i completely lost the plot, and returned to a near infantile state. and i know that what i did to myself broke his heart in two, but nevertheless, it was my father who helped me to get back on my feet - nursing his 25 year old son back to health. and it is still my father whom i run to when the shit hits my fan. but nowadays i'm more concerned with making him proud, even though he constantly reminds me that he already is...
i was blessed when i was born his son.
so happy father's day, pops. i love you.