Hey, Uncle Frank … Wanna Go For A Drive?

I text myself a lot. No, not in a pathetically sad way to just see a little notification number and appear I have friends thank you … it’s just a sort of phone post-it note, an electronic little piece of sticky yellow paper ”stuck” to my phone reminding me of a thought I woke up to in the middle of the night. If it were truly pathetic I would be texting Bella and she would be responding on her little paw ready cat phone. No, just a me and reminders.

For the most part whatever it was that struck me in the midst of my not quite sleep makes sense when I look back at it in the morning. But sometimes it’s a game to figure out just what the hell I was thinking of later. Wake up, pee, then pee again (I hate that part of getting old by the way, I always have to pee twice no matter how much it seems I’ve squeezed) leave a sticky note, a sometimes cryptic one, and then go back to bed.

I’ve recently texted myself about my Dad and some words to use in the post I wrote to/of him on Father’s Day,  but also about my Uncle Frank, who was such a good friend of my Dad’s. I don’t think I can recall anyone who would have rivaled that for him. Dad wasn’t a “best of friends” kind of guy, he was just an all us, his family, but Uncle Frank would have fit that bill if so. He was a large and daunting figure, a one you certainly didn’t want to cross, but a one who had the softest of hearts within that daunt, a one who, who for some reason, had a spot for me. That drive to Florida after things had gone so far south in my life that there was no longer a lowest enough border to reach, where it was just me and him after his offer to be my co-pilot was accepted for a trip to Florida from New York to explore something new, hang with my cousin Connie, after my marriage and job were done, and eventually because of it find a new gig in the sun. Can’t ask for more than a new gig in the sun for a change now can ya? His reason for being so offering was just “planned to fish with Uncle Don so …”. I knew the excuse Uncle Frank. Thank you. And a 24 hour drive will give you plenty of time for talk … and release. He let me do most of it, actually all of it. He let me cry with no judgment and as long as I could keep driving through tears. Kinda wish now though, that the talk was a bit more equal. I would love to have heard some of the Uncle Frank story.

Sorry all you Docs and therapists and self-helpers, life coaches and the rest who revel acclaim in vague truisims and fancy quotes and “profound” lines that really are nothing more than just that. Vague and generic, mostly empty, but sounding meaningful type things, a set of words put together in just the right way. You’ve just never had a chance to take a long ride with Uncle Frank and his largeness of being, of thought and heart and, most importantly, ear.

I’ve texted myself reminders of things, worried in the dead of night that I would forget, often simple ones, but ones that hang over my head and need the reminding. I text myself now as a stand in for years of not writing on a daily basis, as, like anything else, practice can indeed make perfect, almost, of a trying to catch up as best I can now, now finally able to see the worth of such stuff not thinking in my arrogance that words will just come when I decide to sit down and have a conversation with them.

I’ve texted to myself one of my most recent of late night thoughts “So let me introduce myself, and mind you I’m just some guy, that one you knew in college, the one you grabbed a beer with but also that one that might just disappear and head home. A pillow and a pillow’s thoughts so much better than you. Though I loved the company, all I ever wanted to do was just to be done, good times behind, and sure, maybe a few more to come tomorrow or the next day but they couldn’t last too long as I’ve always had a clock ticking. I still look at an actual clock for the time by the way, not just the front of my phone, but a one on my wall above the computer usually with a flashlight in my rollovers. Flashlights and clocks, second clicks and light”.

I really don’t recall writing this though I do recall the sitting up, adjusting my pillow behind my back for a moment, checking for a Cricket the Blind just to my left, holding on to her accidental human (she’s good company within her many annoyances), seeing that Mimi the Quirky had her pillow next to my head, one of the new ones I bought that I haven’t used, just surrendered, and looking over the way at My Bella in her window seat. My current ears.

But looking at that text to myself now confirms a bit of what I’ve always known.

I’ll surely text myself over the next couple of days. When I discovered that I had Friday the third off with the 4th on a Saturday I decided to grab Monday too, a sort of quiet birthday present to myself (it was the 1st). There will be things that pop in the head, probably at weird hours as I’m sure to completely fuck up my sleep.

I’ll surely text myself thoughts of how nice this slow down is and maybe wishes that I had the ability to make it last.

There will seem time, but clocks on a wall. Tick.

Last wake up and text to myself.

“That tick ticks incessantly enough while you’re trying to sleep that you notice it. Fucker never stops. Tick tick tick”

Just trying to hold off the tick for a moment.

Hey, Uncle Frank? Wanna go for a drive? I could use an ear.

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