Future Dads [empathy]
“We grew up in towns
you didn’t have to know our names
to know our histories…”
Tide + Emotion: Responsibility
I think that’s what Tide means to me. Responsibility. When I see a bottle of Tide I see white, I see green, I see, orange. I think. Androgenous Male. Young father doing laundry. Values Sustainability, ecology. Loves the sun/daylight.
So I see a young, athletic, handsome, capable father and helpmate. He is ecologically responsible, energetic, adventurous, casual. Contemporary.
I didn’t realize this until reflecting, but all of the series from ecology to Social Businesses to bird houses to future dads made me think of the responsible young male sexuality.
Tide + Future Dads:
And perhaps that is what I saw in the young band members of Fight Cloud when I saw them play at a house show. The lead guitarist intrigued me. He was a teen-aged mop-blonde hair, skater-esque kid who looked like he’d outgrown skating a bit because he had this kind of father-like hunch to him almost, as if he’d been used to watching his feet for kids and their little toys.
Anyways, I couldn’t shake it. I just kept seeing the future dad in him, in me, in all the rowdy young men and girls around me who were jumping up and down. And the floor was like a spring. The whole room shook and all the adornments on the mantle piece and the lamps, and the lamp that was knee-height in the middle of the room. His beer fell off the speaker and spilled onto his shoes and his foot petal but he never realized, or he never stopped playing at least.
He was a future dad, wholly absorbed into the moment. I’m sure in his head, it was just he and his music and his guitar and the springing floor, and nothing else. He was wholly absorbed, a hobbyist.
And I just couldn’t help but thing of my Boohides story the way the lamp in the middle of the room bounced too, casting up its glow in a warm, muted array. It under-lit all our faces, mine and Carolines, making us look dramatic, almost statuesque, and I saw the way she looked at me as we were jumping. I jumped too has hard as I could and just rode out the music until long after the band had quit playing. We were wholly absorbed in that moment, young, drunk, hobbyists, enthusiasts. We were young and we were kids and we were sense-less, and we were intimate.
Speaking of Dads:
Here is an interview I did with my dad. Over in “Fear Intimacy” I talked about how it is evil of kids not to try to get to know their parents and well, I had asked my dad to pop over one afternoon and we walked down to the Village to get a drink. And thinks were great up till the point we just hit….silence.
Conversation faltered…then died. Neither one of us had much to say, which is alright. But when there is so much you don’t know about your father, surely there is something to be done about it.
[Pause. Well. Let me pause the story here.] I am in a journalism class here at VCU. And the week before we’d learned to write news profiles. Suddenly everyone is so interesting once you get to interview them, so I wondered, why don’t we get to do this all the time?
And I got an idea.
We can. I’ll start a blog under the belief that “everyone has something to teach.” #Axiom I want to know what it is. And that “there is no such thing as a boring person” – if they’re boring you’re asking the wrong questions.
So I was laying in the booth across from him and having just told him about my idea, I said, “Aww hell. Why not start now.” And I asked him what his childhood was like. And I never stopped writing since.
Well. One story I liked that he shared was about when he was a high-schooler and he and all the other boys used to work at Safeway. Sometimes they would have food-fights with the produce. But on Friday nights they would rush to get all the floors clean so they could run home, change, and shower for the local dances they had every weekend in Dinwiddie.
I imagined my dad as this young man. His eagerness to have one of his first jobs. But also his lostness and ambition. And the childhood excitement of the dances, and the hopes that tonight, that Friday night would be the night you would meet the girl of your dreams.
It would be fun to imagine her touch as he held her. The home-made dress she wore, the smell of it, the confidence of her hands clasped in yours, his hand placed gentlemanly just beside the bow fastening the dress tight around the small of her waist. This girl before he met mom. It would be fun to imagine his hopeful ambition and the nostalgia of those Friday nights he must think about sometimes when he blanks out longingly, with his hand propped under his chin as he watches the local programming. The nameless girls, the first kisses he probably wouldn’t dare tell me about, that are secrets only to he. All those nameless girls….
I think these are the whims and fancies and nostalgias I wish to capture in my story Up on Telegraph Hill.
Tide could make a commercial capturing the stock boy’s excitement and hopefulness.
Tide + Emotion: Responsibility