the alarm

The day was dreary, gloomy and overcast,
The darkness pulled my thoughts to the past,
Where life’s joys and triumphs had happened all too fast,
And my memories were faded, because nothing ever lasts.


The alarm clock droned in my ear.

Sometimes it was piercing, sometimes I couldn’t hear it at all, and sometimes I was in a dreamy state where I knew it was going off and I should turn it off but it was mellow, muted, and so I felt no great sense of urgency to deal with it.  It was one of those mornings.

Still it droned on.

I cracked open my eyes, a sliver, to see how much light was pouring through the gaps in the blinds and was pleasantly surprised that I could open them without daylight frying my retinas and the sharp pain that always accompanied that.  Sadly, that wasn’t really a good thing as it meant the morning was once again overcast.

I hadn’t seen the sun in several days and it was starting to effect me.  I didn’t have seasonal affective disorder, but I had found that the longer I went without seeing the sun the lousier I felt, the more despondent I became.  The harder it was to talk myself out of bed and head to the job I dreaded.

The alarm continued to beep away.  I was aware of it but still felt no urge to silence it.

I turned my head away from the blinds and opened my eyes fully to stare up at the ceiling.  I knew I needed to get up and get started with my day, it was going to be another busy one, but I didn’t yet have enough control over my body to make it do my bidding.  My mind knew what it should do, my body had the capacity to follow those instructions, but they weren’t yet communicating as they normally would.

The overhead ceiling fan stood motionless.  The May grey and June gloom hadn’t given way to the hot summer nights and the fan hadn’t yet been called into action.  The room around me lightened as the sun, though its influence was filtered by the clouds and marine layer, rose higher into the sky.  Time was ticking away faster than I was aware of.

The alarm droned on.

My thoughts, as my mind and body continued to wake up and try to interact properly, fled to the past, when I wouldn’t have had to worry about getting up at a certain time, when I didn’t have a job, and responsibilities, and the pressure of having people depend on me.  I often fantasized about the freedom of youth.  I glorified it.  I romanticized it.  I held it in high regard as the penultimate experience of my life: my days were filled with only the activities I wanted them to be filled with.

Games, shenanigans, adventures all ruled the day.  I had the time and energy to explore when and where I wanted.  I could sleep away the mornings and the afternoons if I felt like it.  I could stay awake long into the night and watch the movies I wasn’t supposed to… or, that I learned later, weren’t all that great anyway and shouldn’t have wasted my time with.  But, that was the point – I had the ability to waste time without repercussions.  Isn’t that one of the often neglected but finest definitions of freedom?

But those days were only the penultimate experience of life.  Fully awake, fully in control again, I smiled.  Sure, I had to get up and go to a job I didn’t enjoy.  Sure, I had responsibilities and pressure and stress and hours of my life I wasn’t the “owner” of anymore.  Sure, I rarely found time do to the things that used to define who I was.

Having those responsibilities, though, afforded me the opportunities to grow into the man I became, to marry the wonderful woman who agreed to share her life with me, to adopt the two cats who always make me smile, and to have the family I had always wanted and constantly brought me unparalleled joy.

I turned the alarm off and got out of bed.

The alarm meant that I had to return to being a responsible adult, but there was also a silver lining to it.  It meant that the sooner I could get my work for the day done, the sooner I could be home again and spend time with my loved ones.


The day was overcast, gloomy and dreary,
But the darkness was there to help me see,
Life always happens exactly as it is meant to be,
And the joys of today shine through it all brilliantly.


Rara has prompted me again:

for the promptless, forthepromptless, prompts for the promptless

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

“Silver Lining” is a prospect of hope or comfort in a gloomy situation.  [1870-75; from the proverb “Every cloud has a silver lining”] *

* Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a letter to my son

My dearest little prince,

Tonight (or tomorrow morning depending on how you want to look at it) at 2:14AM you will have been among us, graced us with your presence, your noises, your faces, your silliness and grumpiness for two weeks.  I can’t believe how quickly that time has gone…

It makes me worry.  We all know that our sense of time passing speeds up with each passing day.  Each year goes quicker than the year before it.  Every time we turn around we seem to be passing another milestone that once seemed so far off in the distance we didn’t need to spare it a second thought yet… until, there it is on top of us, passing us, behind us and we are hurtling towards the next.  If these past two weeks have gone as quickly as they have, how fast will the next two go?  The next two months?  The next two years?  The next two decades?

Far too quickly, all of them.

Knowing this fact though, I find myself lost in the moments I spend with you, loathe to give them up, loathe to leave your side lest you make another of your silly faces, lest I miss one of your grunts or squeals.  I want to soak in every second I have, take it all in, hold it, relish it, and in so doing prolong the present.  It’s my way of fighting the passage of time.  A losing battle, I know, but a fight worth having regardless.

I commented yesterday that you hadn’t yet been the muse I knew you would one day be because a post about you would consist solely of “He eats, he sleeps, he poops, he repeats…”  But, pervasive through all of that is the joy of having you in our lives.  The wonderment that is you.  The way time is whizzing by is a testament to that fact.

Even at 4AM when I’m bouncing you, rocking you, swaying you, and singing softly in your ear to soothe you or entertain you as you squall trying to stave off sleep or as you take in the world around in you wide-eyed amazement, even as I’m longing for the bed and the sleep it holds, I still find myself filled to overflowing with joy.  Joy for you.  Joy for having you as part of our lives.  Joy for the future you hold.

I want you to know, my son, that even when I turn around two times and you are off on your own with a family of your own and I’m wondering what happened, I will still have those moment of joy to look back on.  Time cannot take those from me.

With all my love,

The Jester

This one time…

I rode a gondola halfway up a mountain to get married.

You wanted to know the most surreal experience I’ve ever had, well, that would be it.

The date: April 18, 2009
The place: Mammoth Mountain

After the mountain had shut down for the day.  My fiance and I drove up and parked in the lot next to the gondola.  There were still some people milling about and getting packed up to head off the mountain but the lot was mostly empty.  As we moved across the black top, a little girl called out in glee, “Mommy, mommy, look!”  She was pointing and waving at my beautiful bride-to-be as we walked over to the gondola.

Nervous.  Excited.  Ready.  And, just a bit tired, having stayed up the night before finalizing the ceremony and putting the finishing touches on the day to come.  We boarded the gondola, which was running just for our wedding party to ascend to McCoy Station, and headed up the mountain.

She was stunning.  The view was stunning.  The day was stunning.

I wished I could have stepped outside my body for a moment to see the whole thing unfolding from a distance, see it from everyone else’s point of view.

We got off the gondola and were ushered into our places.  The music started, and we walked out in our proper orders.  When I turned to watch my fiance walk towards me, walk towards our life together and all the adventures we would take from then on, I barely held it together.

Wedding - TOS walking away

toasts to friends

I wanted to take a few minutes and raise a glass, or two, (or six) to my friends:

To those who I can go months without talking to and then on a whim pick up the phone and chat as if we spoke every day.
To those who find joy in me just being me, silliness and all.
To those who started as enemies and have grown to fast friends over the years and tears.
To those who inspire me to want more for myself than I would have gone after on my own.  You show me the way.
To those struggling with life changes who may now need me to be the friend to them that they’ve always been to me.  I won’t drop the ball.
To those who seek to squeeze every last bit of enjoyment out of this world.  You are without peer.

…. urp ….

I guess I better sit down now before I …. urp …. fall over.