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Monica Bielanko
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Boxcar Dust.

If you don't particularly love babies or hearing about one then I could see where the whole Thunder Pie thing could get old fast. But, honestly I can't help it. Everything I once was or knew or pretended to know got dropped into a puddle of baby drool. When I picked it all back up: it wouldn't wipe off.

Not that I want it to. But all the rock/roll stories, all my real serious portrayals of down and out and blue, all the tales I planned to tell one day before it gets too late...they all got slipped under the bed with the dust for awhile. You get the kid into the house or the apartment for the first time and like a preacher high on good sermon, you stand at the door and shake hands/say goodbye to Mr and Mrs FreeTime, The Widow SexLife, dear old Mrs WildFridays, and the good CountryDoctor with the deep pockets of herbs and brandy. (I just have been needing to say Country Doctor, that's what that last one is all about. I've been watching FROM LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD on PBS). A moment of small talk, a hunk of squid handshake, and they're out the damn door with a bewildered puzzle on their sheltered faces. All they known is me, so now they're just as lost...staggering into telephone poles and wandering out into traffic.

Me? I miss them. And they weren't anything great to begin with. If you know me that's probably what you're saying to yourself just now. Damn, Serge: don't flatter yourself. It'd been a long time since anyone's seen you swinging from the Tiffany lamp down at the saloon! And you weren't exactly running out of moves in the bedroom when the wife showed up with one in the oven, eh? The truth is, Serge, if it weren't for the kiddo you very well might have found yourself in the parking lot of some Sheraton some rainy Sunday morning, staring at the marquee through the drizzle rolling down the windshield. ROCKY MOUNTAIN BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA CONVENTION AND SYMPOSIUM. You were not doing all that much, man. Seriously.

I know, I know. And thanks for the stingy reminder.I know all that. But the thing is: whenever something changes so much you try and change with it, out of the need for adaptive survival skills, right? Right. The last few years I have changed or been forced to change a lot. Loss of home/new home. Loss of friends/new friends/no friends. Loss of passion/YouPorn. Loss of Rockness/there is no new Rockness. Well maybe I could put Loss of Rockness/weekly paycheck! My point is this. I sort of suddenly have a precious baby girl who I want to raise to know my guts and my heart and my mind for what it is...or has been for a very very long time. A life influenced by music and mountains and books and cities and beers with people I onced loved and conversations in the corner of a smoky backstage room around a campfire of picked-over lunch meats and flung-about celery sticks.

If I adapt too much, get towed too far by the Tide of Super Change...I will be a different man. Violet will hear a different voice. My stories might get told differently than they should. If a hobo has a baby...that baby needs to be part Hobo. It might not be all cupcakes and lambs all the goddamn time, but it needs to happen.

Here, stick some of this boxcar dust up yer midget nose. Smell my life darling.

I need to tell you that you come from me and all my horrific misfortune and all my lucky pennies and I wouldn't want you to ever forget that I loved you more than the sun loves the sky if I ever wasn't here to tell ya' that, my sweet little peanut butter cup.

Reader Comments (5)

As a daily reader, I notice your struggle between love of new daughter and the confusing life-change from past high peaks and lowish valleys.

It is sometimes sad that you see yourself as "that guy, then," and "this guy, now."

It is, and will always be "the same guy, always."

As cliche as it sounds, the skin that you are in hasn't changed. All the simple pleasures that you celebrated before are the same things you celebrate now.

The best gift a person can give themselves is being able to accept everything that happens; both good and bad, and maintain the faith that your life means something and your general goodness is unquestioned.

You have nothing to chide yourself about, friend.

Nothing at all!

Those stories you tell Violet will mean just as much, no matter what life-stage you are in, or when you tell them.


June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yeah, and to go a little paternalistic on your ass - my tag here is after all fellowdad you're still at the "all is possible" stage. Violet can't talk and you guys get to pin your hopes and dreams on her. I love that special time. At least in my case, later on the little buggers talk and go in a direction all their own -- and it is different than the one imagined. Really cool and unexpected but different and a little more banal. Talks about "can I watch a show, Dad" rather than the metaphysical. Hatred of hiking. They keep on growing and moving on and we have to as well. Try to find friends, meaning in job, all that. I meet all these cool fellow dads and we are out there trying to restart -- stumbling around talking about mandates and the like. It's sweet as pie, being a Dad, but not the whole meal. And, ironically, you realize that the life story they can see unfolding in front of their little eyes is the one they pay the most attention to.

June 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfellowdad

Thanks for the comments. Good wisdom from both of you and I appreciate it.

You're both now on the BUY THIS ONE A BEER list.

June 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSerge

Wow, there are some very wise people that read your blog! I am learning things and I have been a mom for 7 years to 2 kids, just goes to show you that you can never know enough about being a parent.

June 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermizkylie

The first two paragraphs are the summation of hundreds of conversations I've had with my childless friends.

Best thing about this blog (and Monica's) is that I read it and I see my life reflect and realize it ain't just me. Thank you.

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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