Nug of the Month: August 2013, June 2014 - Member of the Month: Oct 2013
I was but a child.
My father asked me to travel to the city with him. I, maybe 6 or 7 years old, eagerly agreed.
We lived on a farm miles from neighbors. The thought of going into town was an exciting one. The bustling town of 2,000 people could have been Times Square or Hong Kong or London. It was whatever my imagination made it, and each trip made me wonder my wonder even more.
I ran to the rusty hatchback, and sat with perfect posture long before the start of an engine, and my father and mother loaded laundry bags into the back. Quite the norm, as I begin to anticipate going to my grandparents home as we could not afford the luxury of a washing machine in our humble abode. I began to plan my entire day- sneaking some of my grandmother's beloved ribbon candy, Using her stairwell to watch the never-ending thrill of a well placed slinky, Watching the perpetual traffic of cars and pedestrians, and maybe, just maybe, sipping from an ice cold glass bottle neck filled with the nectar of a cream soda.
My day dream is interrupted by the slam of a car door.
Father: "Just you and me today son."
This was not the norm. Any trip for laundry always involved the entire family. My mother's mother was the destination for today, in my mind, so why would she stay home? This was to be answered soon enough...
My father was a man of adventure. His tales have left both scars and achievement, emotional and literal, grasped and unrealized. But he is a simple man with less forethought than ambition. He is just he. And I am but a child.
And we were off. And the music played.
Music was always part of my upbringing, and at the time unappreciated in flavor, but cherished in auditory stimulation. Life for a young lad on a farm is not a time of mental introspection, but the music was. It was an exploration of art and sounds and words and dialects and concepts and love and pain and the World. It was a daily escape from the mundane. And even the intense cracking voice and misquoting of lyrics by my father couldn't cool the warmth that music would bring.
Our 30 minutes of travel were almost up. But we hadn't made the left turn I was waiting for. We continued right. After a few more mins, we began to slow and I recognized the home. I had been here before and saw, what I believed at the time, to be the largest animals I had ever seen outside of a pasture... Two french poodles, one white and one black, came running out of the opened door to greet me. They were 6 feet tall to me and may have been 500 pounds. I was but a child.
Filling the door frame was a man I had met. He had slicked back hair, and an impressive mustache. His worn and faded black denim jeans were only outdone by his half buttoned denim vest and ostrich skin boots. He wore over sized dark sunglasses to hide his bloodshot eyes, and had mastered holding whiskey and winston's with the same hand. He was always nice to me.
Father: "Boy, help me carry these bags" as the creaking of the hatchback door opened. I jumped up to help. My father was a man of great highs and great lows and his patience, or lack thereof, was usually the reason for both. I understood it was time for action.
The man came out and he and my father exchanged pleasantries as I grabbed what must have been a 100 pound sack and carried it as I imagined Santa did when leaving the sleigh on rooftops. I was but a child.
The dogs were ever happy to see a child, and with each happy bounce the earth shook beneath my feet. All the time my father and the man were making light work of this task, and the many bags were transported whilst I was avoiding a fall between the two titan poodles.
As I plopped the bag beside the others, the eager dogs could not wait any longer, and tackled me to the floor behind their joy. There is something about the affection of an animal that is the purest of pure. And in my young innocence, it may have been nirvanna.
Man: "Take them dogs in the backroom while me and your dad talk." I quickly glance at my father, then turn and oblige. Many times at my home, it was understood that adults need to speak with adults while children play. It was nothing more than etiquette.
And so I played. There is no reference of time for a child. Sunshine or dark are the standards. So it may have been a simple five minutes, or a few hours, it was all the same to me.
Until it was not...