It was a weird weekend…they always are, the ones that proceed a break in the schedule. I don’t like schedules much…but I really hate transitions between the two. It is an amorphous hatred, like most of my emotional proclivities, it lacks definition. Faceless enemies of the human conscience are about as useful faceless enemies of the state; they tend to turn peaceful polite societies into suspicious militarized police-states…rest in peace, Lady Thatcher.
It started Thursday when I had too much to drink during the afternoon and was an ass to my family. I was locked in my own head, working on a project, ignoring everyone in the house, and vehemently guarding the gate against any who’d dare try and enter my kingdom. Real Father of the Year bullshit. It happens from time to time…my having too much to drink. It comes during the times when I decide that I am tired of stemming the tide of my own recklessness. I’ve learned over the years that there a lot of people who have to be talked into doing something stupid…stupid is my base-line, it is my resting heart-rate (so to speak), my inner dialogue is always one of reasoning with the idiot…don’t do something we’ll both regret. I have a feeling some will read that and think that I am deflecting responsibility for my actions. I’m not. I am just making the case that the nature of my inner-argument seems to be different from those around me. I used to be ashamed of this part of myself…now I’m more disappointed that my recklessness hurts the ones I love. I’m really lucky to have a family. That’s the truth.
Friday was uneventful. I spent the day with the girls while Kristy was at work. It was a day of navigating through the mess of the day before, trying to see to it that my family knew that they were important to me even though my actions sometimes point to the contrary and apologizing for my double-minded inconsistency. When you apologize for stupid behavior as often as I do, it is not easy trying to defend the veracity of your apology. There is a well-reasoned propensity for those around me to think that my lack of self-control is a direct reflection of how little I think of, and/or care about them. That’s fair…it’s not true, but it’s fair. My apologies are often centered around restoring the trust that is broken when I act in such a way that allows one to reason that I don’t care about them.
Saturday morning Kristy and I (mostly Kristy) decided we should go on a field-trip to Seattle. It was pouring rain. The plan was to keep the trip close to the ferry docks…you know, the Curiosity Shop and the Carousel. By the time we got to the business side of our field-trip it was time to eat…at least it was for me. I didn’t want to say so because I was trying to play it cool and go with the flow. These are two things with which I struggle when I’m well-fed. I often tell people that I’m the only white person in my family, but it works out for the most part because I only act white when I’m hungry. By the time we docked I was feeling very white. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all white people are assholes…that’s what history books are for.
We started for the Curiosity Shop when we ducked underneath the awning at Ivar’s to get out of the rain. It was showing no signs of slowing. Once under, I was accosted by a disheveled woman looking for money. I told her that I was sorry but I didn’t have any money. It was a half-truth…more like an abbreviation of the truth, which was: I didn’t have any money that wasn’t already spoken for. She asked me why I would be standing outside of a restaurant if I didn’t have any money. I answered that we were there for the same reason as she, to get out of the rain. She then informed me that one day my little girls might become homeless. I told her that I was aware of that possibility. Then I asked her what my giving her money would do to change that and more to the point how it would effectively change her circumstance. She gave her closing argument in a hurried cadence and hushed tone, so I couldn’t make it out. I felt like a douche…it seemed like I had unwittingly taken part in a debate. There were a million different ways that I could’ve handled the situation, three-hundred thirty-seven thousand of which would have been better than the way I had handled it, but I can’t do math that quickly when I’m well-fed…
We walked to the Curiosity Shop then quickly doubled back to Ivar’s…I needed to eat. We passed the same woman on the way back, it was ironic as we were going back to the restaurant I denied having the motive of entering…I wasn’t lying at the time…but she was right; why would I stand in front of Ivar’s without going in? I love Ivar’s. Ivar’s had an interesting bathroom situation, there was a large warehouse with self-contained trailer port-a-potties. 6 of them were marked for women, 2 of them marked for men. I stood on line for around five minutes by myself, while all of the women’s potties shown the light: “vacant” and all the men’s: “occupied”, before I went into one of the women’s. Women’s bathrooms are nice. When I came out there was a line and at least one confused tourist whose face contorted a bit as he tried to determine if I hadn’t noticed that it was a woman’s potty in which I voided, or if women just look different in blue states than they do in Kansas.
After lunch we headed to The Curiosity Shop. I don’t know if you’ve been, but it is a mysterious place filled with wonder…and people–way too many. The girls had lots of fun. I had trouble breathing…and fun. It was fun to see the girls see “Laughing Jack” for the first time. Laughing Jack is a bizarre antique animatron from a simpler time. Note: whenever you see the phrase “simpler time” read: racist or otherwise insensitively offensive. This throw-back casts its personal dispersion upon sailors. Which I’m okay with. LuLu thought he was funny.
We headed to the Carousel on pier 57, a similarly over-stimulating and claustrophobic public space. We played some games and had some fun. I couldn’t have been more relieved by the news that we had to leave to catch the ferry.
These outings always leave me with mixed emotions. I hope that the memories we work to create will remain good ones in the minds of our girls. I’m disappointed by my inability to enjoy these times for what they are. I’m disappointed that I am consumed by my need for control and the anxiety I face when I don’t have it. It was a weird trip. And you may well be thinking: get over yourself. I’ve been telling myself that for years. Shitty listeners are immune to advice. It matters little how good…