Doom and Gloom

For someone who had the most wonderful morning a couple days ago, you think I would be feeling on top of the world. Yet, I have this awful sense of impending doom, like my whole world is about to collapse around me. There seems to be no apparent reason for this. In fact, it had been a great week.

On Thursday, my wife Joanna’s band Drive By Todd opened for The Rustic Overtones. I’m so very proud of her. I’ve never been very good at showing my emotions and feelings, but her band has been practicing in my basement for a few years now. I heard their music practices for so long that it wouldn’t feel right if they ever stopped, even if I have to ask them to turn the volume down on occasion. So to see them on stage opening for a major band, that was a great accomplishment and at current, I can’t think of a time I’ve been more proud of her.

Sunday was such an incredible morning as well. We went out to breakfast to this little hole in the wall place in Camden. I’d never been there before. Rarely going out, Joanna has shown me so much about the area I grew up in that much of it is like a whole new experience. We each had eggs and brisket and it was amazing. We then stopped at a cute little bookstore and finally, Reny’s to browse. It was a really wonderful morning made all the more magical by the trees.

It had rained the previous day and the temperatures had dropped so quickly overnight that all of the tree branches were coated in ice making for an amazing drive. You’ve seen the movies where someone is making their way through a gorgeous winter wonderland? Well, this was more incredible. The way the sun twinkled through the hanging ice was nothing short of breathtaking. We even tried to stop in the road once or twice when it appeared that traffic wasn’t behind us to get a picture.

In the early afternoon, I went sledding with the kids. It was immense fun. I haven’t had that much fun sledding in quite a long time. The way my hat kept flying off into the air as I zoomed down the slopes. Or how I would lie on my belly and my kids would lie on my back so we could reduce wind resistance and achieve maximum speed and distance. It was simply a blast.

And then, that afternoon, I felt this awful sense of dread and doom looming over me. It just came on for no apparent reason at all. I spent probably an hour or two burning wood in the fire to clear my head, but it didn’t help. Probably because I wasn’t really thinking about anything in particular. Yesterday wasn’t bad. Joanna managed to put a wonderful smile on my face that lasted most of the day, but the feeling didn’t go away completely. I’m still feeling it this morning somewhat.

What’s particularly strange is an odd sense of peace with it. Like, I’m feeling this sense of dread, but if I were to pass away peacefully at this time, I would be okay with it. Maybe that’s not the best way to describe it. I don’t have any desire to die, whatsoever. There’s so much I want to see and do. I look forward to the day and Joanna and I are grandparents babysitting our grandchildren so their parents can get a night to themselves. I have been experiencing lots of new moments of joy that I never would’ve in the past. So I don’t know why I have this strange feeling. Perhaps things have been too good for me and I subconsciously fear it will all be swept away. Perhaps where I haven’t been drinking nearly as much, this is some withdrawal symptom. I’ve heard depression can hit hard when a longtime drinker cuts back or just quits altogether. Maybe, where I have opened up so much, I am simply struggling to deal with my feelings. Or maybe, this is just something normal people go through.

I’m sure it will pass and I’ll be back to my normal self again. Either way, I’ll come out a stronger and wiser person for it and that makes me better equipped for the hurdles that will come down the road. So at the very least, I can look at this as a good thing in that regard.

The Music of My People, Children

When I get old and my grandkids are in their early teens visiting as I sit in my chair staring off into space, I’m going to just start randomly mumbling Kid Rock and Korn lyrics to make them think I’ve lost my mind.

“Bawitdaba, da bang, da bang diggy diggy, diggy, said the boogie, said up jump the boogie.”

“Boom na da noom na na nema, Da boom na da noom na namena, Da boom na ba noom na namena, Da boom na da noom na namena…”

I can only pray that it happens at a family gathering with my cousins and brothers who would hopefully join in to make the kids think we all lost it at once.

Repentless Child

Last evening as I sat down at the computer to do a few things before playing Yahtzee with my wife, my two and a half year old daughter ran up to me exclaiming, “Daddy, daddy! Play some music.” Being the totally responsible parent that I am, I obliged and put on some Judas Priest. I was initially disappointed when she told me “Daddy, I don’t like this one,” as Judas Priest is my favorite band. Worried, that I was going to have to disown her, she surprised me when she pointed at my screen and said, “Daddy, I want to play that one.” She was too far away for me to see exactly what she was pointing at so I picked her up and brought her close enough to point directly to it. When I asked her what one she wanted again, she placed her finger on the screen and said that one. It was Slayer’s newest album.

Slayer_Repentless_Cover

You can really see the childlike appeal.

“Slayer?” I asked.

“Yeah! I love Slayer!” she exclaimed with great delight.

Despite having never used the Amazon music player before nor ever seen me use it, my daughter deftly grabbed the mouse that was on the desk, moved the curser over the album cover to reveal the PLAY button and pressed it. Immediately, the soothing tones of Slayer’s Implode came bursting out of my computer’s speakers. With a squeal of glee, my daughter got down on the floor and began thrashing about like a true metal head. Normally, I wouldn’t allow her to listen to Slayer, but the sheer hilarity of it all coupled with the fact that my daughter picked and seemed to genuinely enjoy good music, I decided to allow her in this instance. Following with the song Repentless, she ran back and forth screaming with a psychotic giddiness as her arms flailed in the air. Truly this was my child.

This morning as we got ready for church, my daughter politely informed me, “I want some Slayer, Dada.” Sorry Olive, but I’m not turning the computer on as I get us ready for Church just so you can listen to Slayer. In the car, my wife decided to put on some Gangnam Style to make the ride more enjoyable. Olive was whole unimpressed and appeared to be quite disappointed in us. I feigned mild disappointment but deep down, I was proud of my little girl.

gangnamfrog

Too imature for a two year old, yet adults everywhere were mesmerized for a year straight.

After Church, we visited some of my wife’s good friends. My daughter somehow managed to quickly find the CDs in their house which is amusing because we almost never use CDs, so I’m not fully sure where she picked on the fact that these discs play music. Kids will always manage to surprise you, I suppose. When one of the girls of the house asked what she was doing, my daughter politely responded with, “I want to listen to Slayer.”

The poor girl was taken aback, as if she didn’t know what to say. “Slayer?” she managed to get out.

“Yeah!” said my child. “I love Slayer!”

Now, I don’t believe this family had any Slayer. They seemed like an earthy bunch and earthy people can’t stand Slayer. Not really sure why, but I suspect that when the sky rains blood, it isn’t very good for the plants. Anyhow, Olive kept asking this poor family to play Slayer for some time. Eventually, they were able to get her off the subject and have a delightful afternoon with the lass.

I still have much work to do in teaching my child of good music, but the Slayer incident has given me hope. There is a ray of sunshine that says I may not have to put up with the latest boy band or vapid pop singer in twelve or so years, but may instead be treated to the classics of my own youth, or at the very least, bands that don’t suck.