I have been called some choice names in this short life of mine. Who hasn’t?* But in the past couple of years, two new titles have cropped up, and each one unbidden by yours truly. Both of them took me by surprise. And both made me wonder.
How was that meant?
And what in tarnation did that one mean?
The first of the two latest awards came about voluntarily from a mad gaggle of hormone-infested teens. You know the sort: they group together for security so that their wiles might destroy anything set in their path that appears to be out of sync with their median age (I know this trick only too well, kids -- watch it). I learned of their pronouncement weeks after the fact, when one of my own accidentally spilled the beans while we sat outside in the yard and threw rocks at silly ground squirrels.
“The guys are now calling you the Blind Beatnik, dad.”
How am I to blame for this malfeasance? What exactly did I do? I only opened the door to let the boys in, your Honor. Seriously, I never meant no harm to any of them.
Look. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
A few days ago Ned dropped by to see my older son. The pair have become the best of friends. Ned plays guitar, so the three of us at least have that in common. Ned has great hair. Rather, Ned had great hair. Only recently did he shear off a set of dreadlocks that would make Ziggy Marley happy.
My son even has great hair for an average white boy. I look at what Eli grows effortlessly, and I try not to covet. Here I am, with less of that stringy protein cascading off my head than both of those two can produce on their young, collective chins. It is just unfair.
My chin, however, is a current killer. I sort of had that bush in mind as Ned turned to me with a shocking verdict before he left our home that day. But even with my beard, I certainly do not deserve the term, “Great White Aboriginal Poet.”
*Call me crazy or call me a bitch. Please, call me a bastard right now.
Or call me a Bob or a Shirley or gay, or even a black-and-white cow.
Go ahead. Call me a rubber-faced geek who never did learn how to pee.
Feel free to call me whatever you want, but do not forget to call me.