Steiner the minor tells me he is frustrated because he doesn’t feel like people are listening to him at school.
He says some don’t acknowledge him and act like he is not around.
I tell him that some people have the same personality as a cactus and that sometimes it takes a bit of time to figure out who they are so you can avoid their thorns.
We go back and forth and he tells me that he thinks I don’t really understand because I have a different sort of presence than he does.
I tell him I am not convinced it is true and explain that when I want to be noticed I make it happen. I am not sure if he understands what I am saying or if I am doing a good job of explaining it.
Chasing Ghosts Isn’t Profitable
Somewhere in the midst of our conversation I remember seeing in my stats that someone spent a lot of time reading Chasing Ghosts Isn’t Profitable and try to figure out how that post relates to the conversation.
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed…but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me”
Superman (It’s Not Easy)-Five For Fighting
It is the quote, it is the burning question of does Superman feel like an outsider who can never be a part of the ‘in crowd’ or any crowd.
It is my frustration with how little time prospective employers give to resumes and how I am certain they don’t see me or recognize how much I could do if given the chance.
It is the daily parade of memories that my cousin’s death brought about. Haven’t seen him in forever and now I won’t.
It is the recognition that I am decades older than he is and I still have these moments where I wonder if I am always going to be on the outside looking in, and if so, how am I supposed to advise him.
But then I remember that somewhere in the past I recognized I don’t need most people to really see me and that the only time I am truly bothered is when the people who mean something don’t get it.
Do People Really See You?
I show my son the picture of the man holding grapes and I tell him he is just as real and twice as sweet.
He rolls his eyes at me and tells me he is bothered by not knowing where he is going to go to high school.
I nod my head and promise to figure it out as soon as I can and then wonder how the simplest things in life got mucked up and turned upside down and inside out.
The Superman questions rattle and roll inside my head and I wonder where they’ll take me. Will I gain some magic insight by trying to figure out what might drive a fictional character and how they would respond to certain situations.
Are the answers going to make me a better father and better man?
Can I use them to help the people I want to see me do so?
I don’t have time to spend hours mulling it over so I move on the pedestrian chores of a father’s life and figure it won’t hurt to let the rest percolate in the back of my mind.
Midway through a trash run I wonder if maybe some of the people I want to see me really do and just don’t say so. I figure the simplest way to find out is to ask but I just don’t feel like it.
It is a short list but I suspect at least one person will refuse to answer and or try to dodge and this isn’t something to chase people about.
Especially when I tell Steiner the minor that you shouldn’t chase friends and promise that he’ll find his people in high school.
The Promises We Make
Part of me wonders why I would make a promise like that because I haven’t any control of it and it is possible I’ll be wrong.
But there is this voice inside my head that swears by it and so I go for it because gut instinct says it is going to happen.
I know that voice because it is the one that drives me to believe in the intangibles that life is made of. It is the one that says to trust in that which you can’t see because sometimes the inexplicable and improbable happens.
Back at the trashcan I remind myself that not only did I make a crazy promise I did so without knowing what school he would be at.
Midway through the walk back to the house I mutter something to myself about not being so hard on myself, especially when we have so much time between now and the start of high school.
Humphrey Bogart’s Lesson About Life
Everyone in the house is sleeping but I am wide awake, got way too many things pressing against the walls of my skull to shut it down for the night so I figure I might as well take advantage of the time.
I grab the dog and we go check the doors and windows and make a quick pass to confirm the siren song of electronics has not convinced the kids to stay awake long past bedtime.
Soft snoring confirms they are and we wander downstairs to sit in the dark and think.
I lie one the leather couch from my apartment in Texas and smile because this piece of furniture has meaning to me.
My intent isn’t to watch television but I turn it on anyway ‘cuz I am curious to see if there are any movies I should tape and I stumble across Casablanca.
It is my favorite movie and I cannot just walk away.
That is when it happens, there is an exchange between Rick and Victor Laszlo that wakes me up again.
This is why I made the promise to my son and why I am chasing a dream. I have given up trying to convince myself of things I don’t believe in because those lies kill our hearts and scar our souls.
I am done with that.
Do people really see me?
Maybe they do. Maybe the ones who are supposed to and the ones who need to do.
Maybe that includes those I want to and maybe it doesn’t but it is not my job to figure that part out.
My job is to focus on doing the things that help me be better father and make it possible for me to make those promises to my kids.