Tuesday October 15 2013

Mil's Manor Mystical Moist Air (Oct 15 2013)[i]

Waking up at 1:25 p.m.

Cinnamon Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.

I pack up into the car and start my drive to Goldsboro, North Carolina. My dad really wanted me to come to his house and camp out in the background with his neighbors. I occupy myself at the wheel with an audio book: James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Turning on the radio briefly. NPR is interviewing Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash about his ability to still perform at an old age.

Nash: "I'm 71 years old and I don't do anything to protect my voice. I just do what I always do."


Stop at a gas station off I-95. I had planned to just get some hot Tea but two big pots of Boiled Peanuts catch my eye. One cup will do along with a Honey Almond Granola Bar.


Anytime I go on this 3-hour journey to NC I'm always inspired to call my mom and catch up. She's still living in Bartow, Florida enjoying her new job as a counselor at a residential support house for troubled adults, some with autism, but most all of them have committed crimes. The woes of living expenses and bills are still a struggle sometimes but she's never been one to let that suck up her happiness. We entertain the idea of seeing each other this Christmas; I might fly down there or she might fly up here.

Arriving, I pull up into the driveway. There's my dad sipping on a can of Michelob with his classic smile and a bigger belly gut than the last time I saw him. He's 65 so I guess he's hit that point in his life where he simply wants to enjoy himself and eat as much as he wants. He just had foot surgery not too long ago and he's been stuck at home without the ability to walk very well. Joe and Keith, both of my dad's Vietnam vet neighbors, are hanging out and giving him a hard time about wanting to camp out.

He exclaims, "Just because I'm 65 doesn't mean I can't be young!"

I dig my dad's spirit. I notice a shiny new electric powered golf cart parked in the garage.

Me: "Whoa. When did you get that thing?"

Apparently, it makes his life easier and he can get around the neighborhood to see his friends. I like that my dad still has a desire to do fun things. We set up the tents together – hammering the stakes into the ground. Meanwhile, I notice impatience and bitterness and an overall quick-to-criticize attitude in my dad, mostly towards his wife. Even though I've always noticed that in the previous years it seems to have increased a little. I hope it's not him becoming senile. He's not that old yet.


Jennifer, my stepsister, and I take a joyride on the golf cart down the street. She's 17 now, still in 10th grade because when she came over here from Honduras two years ago they had to set her back in school. Her English I notice has improved a lot.

Time to go into town for dinner. Every time I'm here my dad has a new ride. We all hop into his latest, him, Patty (my step mom), Jennifer, and me. I'm delegated to drive since my dad's foot doesn't allow him to. It's a Mazda crossover with a no-key ignition and equipped with a rear camera to help when reversing out of the driveway. Fancy. We sit down in a local pizza joint called Brooklyn Pizzeria with authentic New York style slices. The greasiest, cheesiest, tastiest Pizza I've had in a while. Washing it down with a Dr. Pepper. I know my stomach is gonna hate me later.


Back at the house. I help Jennifer with her history homework; she's learning about The Magna Carta and the crusades. I notice she's got a well-used container of Vick's Vapor Rub on the bed stand.

Me: "I love this stuff!"

Apparently, she even eats it. I didn't know you could do that. Ana also has a fascination with the stuff.


Later, sitting on the couch together in the guest room with Jennifer – sharing music videos on Youtube. She's really into the latest trance-dance music, some Spanish and some classic rock like Bon Jovi. I mention how I used to listen to similar styles of dance music back in the 90's. It's interesting to me how these kinds of melodic pop progressions survive through the decades; it's just a regurgitation of the same musical feelings.


Patty and my dad are vegging out in the living room watching whatever seems interesting on television. I show my dad pictures from my trip to Russia back in March. Sipping on Coffee and humorously debating with Jennifer about what a fruit fly is. They're flying around the fruit basket because of a few bad pears. I locate the apple cider vinegar and pour some in a tiny bowl with a dab of dish detergent to make a fruit fly catcher. 

Carolina Turkey (Oct 15 2013)

Everyone goes to bed. It's only 11:30 p.m. and these are my perky hours of the night. I take a jog/walk around my dad's neighborhood, Mil's Manor. All the houses were built here within the last decade, owned by wealthy families, people who rose to the top of the financial food chain. This part of town and this part of America is a place the older types go to settle down, a quiet place. Oh boy, is it quiet all right. I can hear the squishing of my running shoes smash against the asphalt. No jet noise. No car noise. No city life. Just pure quiet, except for the sound of the crickets and other night creatures producing a symphony in the woods nearby. The moist air is perfect. The temperature is perfect. Everything has a mystical meditation to it.

Back inside I snack on Muscadine Grapes and a piece of Cake. Watching a few episodes of Breaking Bad then off to sleep around 3:30 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

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