Sunday, June 21, 2020

in honor of father's day: a couple old diary entries about my dad

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I'd look back into some of my early diaries and pull out some passages about him, like I sometimes do. But I think I've used up all the fun material I have in my kid diaries about him so I thought I'd look through a few from when I was an adult, and I found two passages to share. The first, from 2012, was about a phone conversation he and I had when I was writing an ebook about how to be an accountant. One of the things I had to do in writing the book was interview three different accountants and edit the interviews to have them tell their story in their own words. I can't remember whether Dad didn't want to be one of those profiles or if I chose not to use him because we have the same last name and that would look like cheating (probably the latter) but I called him to get a good rundown on the subject.

The second entry, from 2007, was from when Dad and I discovered the computer game Second Life. Actually, I misspoke in the entry and called it New Life. If you don't know what it is... well, I think I explain it well enough in the entry, actually, that I'm must going to shut up and let my thirty-eight-year-old self do the work.


July 24, 2012
I forget what day it was, but I had a long conversation with Dad, like an hour, about accounting. He explained so much and make things actually kind of clear to me—his way of explaining was so good, and I wished I could have interviewed him. Because he was that good—he explained it so well but also made it interesting, was voicy about it. Was kind of the perfect combination. He called himself a one-stop-comptroller… or something. A quote I actually pulled and used in my intro. The way things morph and change, who knows if all the work I did on the book so far will even stay, but it felt good at the time, finding an intro out of the blue, after talking to Dad. And just a nice time talking to Dad.

October 9, 2007
So I couldn't call Dad on Saturday but we had a long conversation. So nice. I keep thinking about how little I see him. Well, he's got this game he's playing right now, on computer, called New Life. Where a world is created and you get to be a character and go around in this world. Well, it seems there are over 9 million people in the Linden world. And Dad's one of them. And now I am and now Stephen is. 
It's too cool. A lot of fun and interesting but also, and for me mostly, it's this way to hang out with my dad and it's almost like being with him. The first morning I was on Orientation Island and just walking around but then Dad friended me and sent me a teleport to the house he's building and all of the sudden I was "there" with him. He was all gray at first. Took a while to fill in. But then we were talking. And for me, instant messaging is pretty foreign, so this was a big step up from email. And talking back and forth about this thing he's interested in, and he was showing me his windows and how he'd made the texture in Paint Shop Pro. 

We wanted to find out if my body would just sit there in suspended animation when I logged off, so Dad logged off and then came back. He's Lundon Little. I don't know how he got Little for a last name and there was no Little in the list when I chose. I chose Willikers Littlething. Willikers for the old nickname he had for me and still sometimes uses.

My brown-haired purple shirted character stood there and waited for him and when he returned he seemed to sort of leap into existence, and at first he was gray and at first he had a woman's body and these prominent boobs. Then it morphed into the character of Lundon Little and the color came in. I told him about the boobs. He said, what, I had boobs? And I laughed. You click one thing and the character puts her hands on her belly and throws her head back and laughs. You hear it. That was so funny again I had to say something about it like, "Oh my god, that is so funny!" And then Lundon Little laughed. Hands on the belly and head thrown back and laughing. The two of us laughing in real life and laughing in cyberspace, sharing a laugh together.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

a moment in the day: delivery

Nicholas is barking in the hysterical way he barks when there's a knock on the door, and I follow him quick down the stairs, hoping to pick him up before Stephen answers the door.

Normally these pandemic days, I'd be afraid to answer the door, but I did order some Vegemite, and I got a confirmation email that it was on its way. They'd just knock and leave it on the porch.

Still, doggy in arms, now, I stop. Stephen and I hesitate, neither touching the knob.

"It's probably just my Vegemite," I say.

When Stephen opens the door and we peak out, there's a small box sitting on the porch. On the top it says, "Fat Cupcake."

I say, "Kathleen!"

Now I understand the cryptic text my friend sent me about a "delivery" a little earlier in the evening. Cupcakes from her and from my writing group. For my birthday.

In these fraught times, the gesture gives me a slug of pure joy in my belly.

In the street, a house and a half down, a car is making a U-turn. What kind of car does Kathleen drive? Neither Stephen nor I have our glasses on. I wave big as the car makes its turn and comes back to pass in front of our house. Stephen tells me the driver is waving so I wave bigger, making thank you gestures, and then they're gone.

I take my cupcakes inside.

"I think that was a man," Stephen says.

Yeah. I'm pretty sure I just blew a kiss at the delivery man.