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I’m writing this from my parent’s house. It’s not the house I grew up in but the fact that they live here now is enough to put me back in the old grooves of angsty adolescence.
Maybe it’s because the last time I lived with them I was 17, my inner shitty-teenager still peaks out when I come around. I tell myself on the drive up that I’m going to be patient and show them the well-mannered sincerity I’ve cultivated in adulthood, but it starts to wane by dinner time.
Watching your parents get older is hard. You want certain things for them like they want certain things for you and there’s a feeling of wanting to fix them or show them “the way.” Show them you’ve learned a thing or two out there.
Maybe it’s to help them or maybe you figure if you can just fix them now it won’t be that bad if you happen to turn out just like them. But then you open your mouth to give advice and it’s the shitty 17-year-old and you realize, “Well, that’s it. Here I am. I never left.”
They’re in the kitchen now speaking loudly at each other:
“Who moved the coffee? Why would you do that? Where’s that sound coming from? What did I come in here for?”
The sound of their voices, the questions they ask, and the feeling of rebellion creeping up the back of my neck… It all stretches across my memory like orange taffy over hot pavement as I wait for my mother to pick me up from school.
It’s the perfect storm of comfort, familiarity, and unconditional love. Old behavior may die hard but being here is a humbling reminder that no one will ever think I’m as special as my parents do and no matter how enlighted or smart I think I am, I still have a lot to learn.
You can only run so far away from yourself. But if you ask your parents, that’s something to be grateful for.
The temperature is good!
Ok, here’s some stuff…
What I’m reading:
Lost At Sea, by Jon Ronson. A nice collection of non-fiction pieces by Ronson. If you haven’t heard of him he’s worth looking up.
Also just read The Long Goodbye, by Raymond Chandler. I’ve always had a soft spot for hard-boiled detective novels. Chandler is known as the master and this book is his favorite out of 10 he’s written.
“Well, that’s interesting…”
I’ve been saying it for a long time. Crows are wicked smart.
The Zen Dairies of Garry Shandling.
It’s a long one but has tons of great insights, laughs, and big payoffs. A bit sad. But a nice peek into the brain of one of the greats.
What I’m listening to:
And a quote to keep in mind:
“I don’t think we give that gift anymore (the gift of silence). I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information than wonder. In noise, rather than silence…how do we encourage reflection? Oh my, this is a noisy world.”