I think I just wrote a poem...
Well, I met him again on this last trip. I think he was doing his garbage picking rounds. I also was more aware this time, that he was missing most of his teeth. Anyway, we exchanged pleasantries and then I asked him if he was okay for money. He told me that he would get his pension cheque at the end of the month.
We parted with both of us having our dignity intact.
This large, possibly Lego toy concoction even has a remote with it. The grandchildren like to get the crane swinging this way and that way and it can pick up objects and might even be able to break-dance to the music of Billy the Singing Lobster.
Anyway, what I’m saying is that it would have been a blow-my-mind toy if it had been in my boyish life. For that matter, it is now.
On one of my visits, my elder grandson, Carter, was playing with this crane. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Callum, was trying to find something to do. One choice he had in mind, I’m sure, was to disrupt whatever Carter was doing.
Anyway, during this Mayberry moment, I’d grabbed my son’s guitar. I began to tune it and then did a little amateurish finger picking. Which attracted Callum. Offered him a possible activity. So he took an interest in what I was doing. Even reached out and did some strumming of his own.
Obviously, the older grandson took note of this. Saw that I was taking an interest in his brother. Wasn’t possibly paying as much attention to him as I should be. So, it must have put him beyond the pale of self-control when Callum was allowed to strum the guitar all by himself, while receiving my total attention.
The attack came without warning. A Carter blitzkrieg. One minute Callum and I were talking and sharing a moment with the acoustic guitar and then, in the blink of an eye, I was in darkness.
Was I having a stroke? Was I going blind? No. What I was experiencing was having my head tucked nicely inside the confines of a wastepaper basket. Which Carter had expertly jammed over my head.
Thus sayeth the Lord, “Stop taking an interest in my younger brother and pay attention to me or there will be more to come.” Brotherly love comes with its own dangers.
I’ll end this story with the observation that my son and daughter-in-law are two great parents. Why, the waste-paper basket was even empty when it was thunked down over my noggin. That was some sort of blessing.
“There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.”
Walter Whitman, There Was A Child Went Forth
When I arrived at the check-in desk the receptionist asked me if I’d brought Buster with me. I told her he was at home, but promised to make some prints of pictures of Buster and give them to her. Which I did, a few days later.
The receptionist said, “It was so funny when you asked me to put you through to Buster’s room.”
I’d asked that when I had phoned our room the last time we were all here.
“You knew who he was, too,” I said. We both had a good guffaw. Maybe two guffaws.
Anyway, as she was booking me in she told me she was going to give me a special rate. She then gave me a lower daily rate than normal and not only that, but gave me the same low rate for the peak weekend days when the prices go up.
So, do you see what I mean when I say that Buster got me a discount on the price of my hotel room?
“If you can uncomplaining spend the day
In solitude and when it ends
Greet those who finally return to play
As long lost friends
And if digging, without damage to a single rose
You find your long lost bone on which to sup
You’ll have acquired a hound’s discerning nose
And - what is more - you’ll be a dog, my pup!”
Lily Tuck, Sniff