The Zoo

The following is an excerpt from the final chapter of my book, Rock, Meet Window: A Father-Son Story    One summer day when I was eleven, Mom, Dad, and I had plans to go to the zoo. For the previous three weeks, however, I had been pilfering quarters from Dad’s change bowl and burying them in[…]

Taking My Father’s Class

I was the youngest student in the class and unfortunately the most naive and confident—there’s no more toxic a combination than youth and bravado. The other students were college juniors from prestigious universities, and I was fresh off graduating from Rutherford Hayes high school in Delaware Ohio. My Dad had accepted a director position at[…]

Sunday Family Dinners

Every Sunday we have dinner with Lindsay’s mom, sister and her husband, their two kids, and our two kids. I suspect someone drops off some extra kids too, and possibly a raccoon. It’s mayhem, and a tradition that’s a vestige of a bygone century when children were quiet when asked; sat down when told; ate[…]

Fine Persian Bonding

Between the syncopated machine gun pops of Silas stomping on bubble wrap, I heard a flyer slide under the front door. “What’s it say?” Lindsay asked. “Either a sale on snow tires or a high school cupcake drive,” I responded. My kids started dancing, “CUPCAKES!” ”No, no, I was kidding.” And then a silence fell[…]

What’s Illuminated When The Lights Go Out

It’s either day 6 or 7. I can’t remember. After a while, the days without routine and electricity blend together into a foggy-headed smoothie that tastes like the middle of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” sounds. We’re all walking around with grim heavy-metal faces, but all feel confused and awkward, like maybe we accidentally ate some Percocet dusted catnip.

Don’t Throw Tennis Balls at Cars

We were driving Jeremy’s mom’s Mercury Topaz, so the police called his parents, even though I was the one throwing tennis balls out the window at passing vehicles. I would have only thrown one, but Jeremy started laughing, and that provided me with all the nerve I needed to hurl the remaning five. The goal[…]

Day 358: The Sick House

Except for my Dad, we all have colds. It’s a big snotty mess over here, and Arlo’s face looks like a 3-day-old glazed doughnut. Lindsay has always been able to ignore sicknesses, and do what has to be done, but my mom and I prefer to wallow in it, snorting and comparing symptoms. Bonding over[…]

Day 353: Is This Your Bag, Sir?

I was thirteen years old when I told airport security my dad had a gun. Had it been post 9/11, we might have missed our international flight while a powdery latex glove attached to a GED recipient searched my father’s cavities. He’d accepted a year-long teaching position in Florence, Italy. We invited my best friend “S.P.” to come with[…]