An Afternoon Page

Entirely in father province of the writer-father role, beginning this morning, with Emma gifted me an explosively abhorrent diaper, Jackie impatient and needing breakfast and to be entertained somehow.  All of course whilst Ms. Alice was out on a run, a run she very much deserved, I just thought it hilarious that of course such happens to me while I’m alone.  Working as much as I do, I don’t find myself pinned by monstrous diaper dilemmas.  But this morning I did.  Of course I did.

After the daddy daycare scenes, I got out for a run.  One rather impressive considering how not at all in the mood I was for running and how elevated the temperature was at 8 or 9-whenever I was out.  I pushed through the 7.2 miles averaging an 8-something per mile (not sure where Garmin is, otherwise I’d have actual numbers for you)…  THEN, a playdate arranged by Alice and one of her friends, ‘B’, who has three.  Luckily, the dad came along, ‘J’, a guy I’ve always liked and was excited he was coming over.  Not to be sexist or misogynist, or anything negative or hurtful, but I’ve always found the playdates to be something for the mamas, not us.  But, either way that went smooth and now I find myself in this scene, here at the desk in the home office just a few hours before class (something I’m not at all excited about), finally having time to write, collect self after hitting my daddy, running, and now writing roles… next, teaching.  Not that I don’t like teaching, I DO, I just want to do so more creatively and on my own terms as you know— not going to bore with that meditation and repetition, affirmation storm.  BUT, I am a father, with two children always looking at me, literally looking up at me and knowing in their minds I have everything figured out.  And, I ask myself, “Do I?” I think now, finally at 37, I have a pretty good handle on everything, I just need further focus and intensification.  I need to be an animal, more an animal…  A machine, truly tireless.  Which now, yes, I am a bit demonstrating, not taking a nap as tempted as I am with that breeze again hitting me on my right side— more of a gentle flirtatious pat and stroke, telling me that I deserve rest,  I would thank myself for it.  Maybe.  But I’m choosing to work.


Gave Alice $23 dollars, have $40 left (cash)…..  Sorry, just thinking out-loud on the keyboard, money in thoughts, which is common of most fathers…  Tired again.  Shit, maybe I should just follow my babies’ lead and lay down.  Know I’d hate myself if I did, though.  So I push on.  Looking at the $40, then my coffee tumbler, then the notebooks (which comprise the current notebook garden), and I exhale, sit up straight and listen to the quiet of the Autumn Walk Studio…  What I’m learning:  All  moments are standalone pieces.  Fan above me, contributing to this atmosphere with its rushed but not too much revolutions.  Now I do want something.. not a nap…  not more coffee…..  But something.  Something different.  Act out of character, do something different.  Like what.. building something?  Well, aren’t I?

Dads know what I mean, when you have moments like this, quiet all to yourself, babies down and Mrs. out doing some errand or returning something, or picking something up, and you know the moment has to be grandiose in some way.  Cosmically productive, produce something, get something down, and done.  So what can I get done, then?  A short project…  Pack bag for tonight’s class, and take other shit out.. okay, here I go…..

Done.  And now what.  Just relax, honestly.  You know what, a nap would do you immense good.  So why not, and why not let yourself just rest, do something for you.  That would make you a better, more composed father.  Feeling those 7+ miles now, sitting in this chair and rubbing my eyes.  But if I stop, nothing’s written.  Start planning for tonight.  Every minute of it.  First half-hour, readings, then—  Not in the mood.  But I’m in a mood.  Not a negative one, just one anxious and antsy, needing something.  WHAT?  I don’t know.  That’s why I’m edgy.  Other fathers may say to me, “Well you have done a lot today, Mike.” It’s so weird, ‘cause I feel like I haven’t.  “What does that mean?” I start to worry.  And the antsy about me intensifies.  “Don’t want that to intensify!” I think.  Then I step away from the keyboard.  I’ve had it.  Daddy’s done.