i haven’t talked about Dad in a while.
he hated - well, hated is a strong word - the fact that i had a blog and would share so damn much. its not something i expected he’d understand, and to his chagrin, i still don’t quite understand it. the way in which this went from “scene kid” notebook to “writing for a living” is something that i’ve come accept only pretty recently, but i digress. he never understood it. he didn’t like Los Angeles. i can see why. you’re not supposed to “like” Los Angeles. that’s sort of the point of the city. the moment you “love” Los Angeles is the moment i’ve always believed you should just move to Santa Monica and do yoga forever and eat tofu and call it a day and marry a blonde who thinks Fellini is a type of pasta. but once again, i digress. although the things he said about LA could probably fill a whole quote book probably have shaped how i feel about the place. it’s not fun. it’s not particularly enjoyable. i tried to tell him multiple times its the ultimate in human study - living in a city that is more of a grand idea than a place. once you accept that, you can almost see the road clear out infront of you, up to “the top”, wherever that is for you. again, for a third time, i digress.
it always angered me how, every time i came to him for advice, his answer would be “its your life, mate”. he didn’t say that in a condescending tone - not once. it was simply “your decision”.
and now, rapidly coming up on a year in April since he died, i’ve had to make some insane decisions. life got surreal in ways i never thought it would. and every time i’ve had to make a big decision i’ve hemmed and hawed and had a few whiskeys and shed a few damn tears - not “we’ve run out of ice cream” tears - just shitty man tears that last 30 seconds. i wished he was there to talk to. i wish he’d give me advice. i wish he’d tell me “get out of there, move to New York, that’s where you’re supposed to be, i’ve never seen you happier than you were when you were there”. and its true.
i went to New York about a month before he passed and i was walking down 6th Avenue on my way to see Mari, talking to him on the phone, and he said “i’ve never heard you this happy about a place”. and he was right. “then why not move?” he said. “i’m not sure, LA is just somewhere i have to be right now”, i said. i don’t know why i said that. the sentence came out of the ether. LA is just somewhere you have to be for a point in your life, if its calling you. its inescapable.
i wished almost every day this year that i could just call him up or sit and have a beer with him across this kitchen counter i’m writing on right now, and stay up until 1 waxing about this and that. i wish that more than anything, anything, anything.
but i know exactly what he’d say, that “its your decision”, and “its your life”. it’s the most perfect way to raise someone, and he did that so damn well. when i was coked out of my mind in Chicago for those months after breaking up with my fiancee i called him and told him about the drugs, and how ashamed i was, and how sorry i was - there was never a moment of “SON! WHAT THE HELL!” it was all just “well, it’s your decision”. and i stopped doing that point blank right there. abandoned all my shitty friends and moved on.
same thing happened in LA. too many friends doing too many drugs and partying too much without any forethought to any sort of future other than the morning after, but they were friends, whatever that meant. i talked to him about it. “its your life, mate”. i wanted to throttle him for not giving me any solid advice. but the next day, sitting there at the little taco joint, it all clicked. and it was my decision and mine alone, and i stopped talking to them.
it really is the best thing you can say to someone, “its your decision”, and that helped so damn fucking much in my life. i don’t care what your dad is like, mine was the absolute coolest. one of the most affable, funny, most awesome people you’d ever meet. and it was those carefully placed words that got me this far. sure i’m kind of all over the place sometimes, but if you’ve had a Dad like that, it makes that all fall by the wayside.
but really, “it’s your decision” to whether you let shit get you down or whether you can just let it roll off your back like a drop of water on a ducks feathers. to not be worried about your reputation but the content of your character, really, is i think what it comes down to. i don’t believe in heaven or hell. never really did, except for one five month period in 2000 when i became a born again Christian (thats another story for another time). i’m not sure where - in whatever ether - my Dad is. as far as i’m concerned, he’s in every decision i make.
does that make sense? am i oversharing on the blog again? fuck it. he’d probably hate that i’m doing this. another great quote of his was “you shouldnt be thinking while you’re drinking” and i’m TOTALLY going against that nugget of advice right now. but fuck it. maybe some random person out there will read this and think twice about their Dad and how damn lucky they are to have him around, spewing out little nuggets of amazingness that you - in your twenties or what have you - pass off. and you shouldn’t. and if this changes only one persons mind, i can’t fault that.