Thursday, March 27, 2008

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time there was a boy.

A boy who loved boyish things... he loved playing with action figures, and little league baseball. He loved his Mom and his Dad, and his sister... well... he didn't hate her, I suppose. He loved puppies (though he was never allowed to have one), and kittens (though he wasn't very good at caring for them), and snakes and bugs and playing in dirt.

He loved sledding in the wintertime, and mittens and hoods so big that they hid his eyes, even if it caused him to walk into the occasional tree. It made people laugh, so he figured that was fine.

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved to make people laugh.

Once upon a time there was a teenager. A teenager who loved teenage things - some good, some bad. What were the good things? Well, he loved to play lacrosse, though he wasn't terribly good at it. He loved his English class, and it's stirring conversation. He loved his friends. He loved cheeseburgers and getting up in the middle of the night to climb onto the roof and look at the stars. He loved snow-days and sleeping late. He loved making people laugh.

Of course, there were the bad things he loved. He loved parties and staying out late. He loved arguing with his parents and Busch Lite and girls who squeezed his heart until it popped. He loved smoking and skipping school.

Once upon a time there was a teenager who loved to make people laugh.

Once upon a time there was a young man. A young man who loved the things a young man loves. He loved drinking legally. He loved having a place of his own, although he wasn't very good at taking care of it. He loved playing darts late at night, in smoky rooms, listening to music and waxing nostalgic. He even loved his work, although he didn't like getting up so early.

He loved his girlfriend (so much that it made him nervous).

He loved his freedom, he loved being able to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. He loved his life, and making people laugh.

Once upon a time there was a man. A man who loved being a man. He loved his wife (who no longer made him nervous) and his house and finally having a dog. He loved his work, which was now less of a job and more of a calling.

But he still loved his darts in smoky rooms and his music and his waxing nostalgic. Until one night, late after work, he stood with friends in a dimly lit, smoke-filled room, playing what felt like his thousandth round of darts, drinking his thousandth cheap drink, and hearing the same story for the thousandth time.

Once upon a time there was a man. A man who loved many things, but decided there was room for one more. And that night, after leaving the smoke-filled room and going home, he lay in bed with his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling that his wife had so meticulously painted. His wife, who lay next to him, with her head on his chest, listening to him breathe. They had a house and a dog. And a garden and a yard and a life linked to dozens of other lives, but with something still missing.

Some day there will be a boy... or a girl. And that child will do childish things, and will have a father who will make them laugh.

Some day, thought the man. And he laughed.


Alex the Odd said...

You are no longer on notice, man. That was simply gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Ohmygod, I'm kind tearing up over here.


Jayne said...

ok, yeah, I teared up too.

damn pregnancy hormones.

karabee said...

Wow. That was not at all what I expected when I started reading.
Well done. I loved every word.