Monday, August 26, 2013

Default Position


Today’s blog entry should be about one thing and one only, Kiana. Today was her first day of First grade. We spent last week preparing for it, going shopping with my Nicole, a friend who came and visited me shortly after this brain cancer stuff started and was visiting Austin again. We picked out Kiana’s outfit which she picked a long dress with long sleeves for her first day of first grade. The protective dad parts of me, of course, hope that’s what she wears for the first day of every grade, college, interview and every first date if she doesn’t decide to become a nun. And it was exciting and somehow both a little bit harder and easier to drop her off for the first day of first grade than it was for kindergarten.

The entry should be about how awesome the last few summer days were with pancake cooking, origami making, where she did a portrait of me in Van Gogh style. It should be about how we biked up and down a hill and I told her I'd just run next to her and turns out my trained endurance doesn't match up with her natural one.   It should be about how the way I made sure she got to bed on time was by taking her to a track workout and she did
1.5 miles while I did 3. And it should be about those things because that’s what my life is about. In life, in conversations, on facebook, we are what we do. I spend enough time on facebook to see that some people seem to spend their time and affection on exercises like running (thought there was this great article making fun of runners today  http://guyspeed.com/runners-are-jerks/?trackback=fbshare_top), almost everyone who has pets and kids seem to spend a lot of time and affection on them (I was please to see Kiana’s mom today at school for the first day though not all surprised to hear that she was meeting the principal for the first time ever, but I was shocked to hear a few parents today express how glad they were that school was starting over so they could get a break from their kids), some seem to have enough of a passion or time for nothing else that all you hear about from them in life virtual or otherwise is about work. I’m a guy whose watched every episode of House, the West Wing, and Doctor Who but I worry about the people whose biggest hobby/passion is watching TV. And that’s what I’ve tried to make my life about, life and focusing my time on that which is worth loving the most.

But unfortunately, today instead of getting to pick up my daughter after school on her first day, I have to head to court to get sued in small claims court regarding a previous incident with Andre Domouchelle, the exes’ boyfriend (for more details see the blog entries and the comments as well http://pickingupahitchhiker.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-mild-wild-west.html, http://pickingupahitchhiker.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-ultimate-measure.html). He’s suing me for under $400 and even as broke as I am, it was tempting to give it to him just to have him go away but the principle of it stopped me from it. I’ve referred to him before in here and there was a time where he was a guy I fond of, a friend who I traveled to different states and countries to play ultimate with, who helped organized my 30th birthday party, who helped me train for my first marathon, who was at the hospital shortly after this all started and whose parents house I stayed at in Duke. When it came out that he was having an affair with my high school sweetheart, if there’s anyone who could go through that and not have anger, well they are amazingly stoic or stupid. Frankly, there’s been times I’ve thought about paying him because the incident he’s suing me for, well it was fairly "therapeutic" and almost... almost financially worth what he's suing me for. And it says something about the legal system that police have told him he cannot ever be on my property again, the DA told him he has no criminal assault case to be made (he tried multiple times) and he wouldn’t even attend mediation, judges have told  him he cannot pick up my daughter from my house, and that he is the only specifically named as someone who cannot look at my medical records. I have irreverent friends as the jokes in here revealed and one said about today’s court date, “He came in second in all the other court things so you shouldn’t worry too much about it… but then again he seems to like seconds.” I smiled because it was funny but a lot less than it would have been a long time ago because  a couple of years into the divorce the emotions about it all are much closer to null and void. I think running, sitting with a counselor, sitting in the back of church and above all raising this kid continues to make happiness my default position and to naturally and/or systematically let go of anger. The Chinese have a saying that holding onto anger is like holding onto a hot coal to throw at someone, it just burns you in the process. And looking in the mirror today, I’d be lying to say that the betrayal of my brain, of my spouse and of this friend are things I’ve completely forgotten, they are memories that keep fading in the best way. I once said in here that those types of betrayals are the reason Dante reserved the lowest level of hell for those who betray their friends. Still, the best parts of any religion/spirituality/methodology to me is not about avoiding the bad but pursuing the best. Perhaps the idea that someday there will be hell to pay makes us feel better about injustice today but I hope I can focus on that little things like putting Kiana to bed and reading with her tonight shows that there are slices of heaven right here in the real world.


Another joke that’s been made is that my life is a mixture of Oprah and Springer. But a wise new friend said to me that to get on Oprah you only need to be doing the right thing by yourself and Springer requires two people being cheap. So I’ll go to court and try to stick to mere facts and not weigh in with emotions enough to where people are yelling “Springer, Springer.” And this court hearing, unlike the custody ones, is really more about annoyance than any worry since the worst things that could happen is money lost, a good chunk of change for a guy who lives off a $2000 a month insurance, is still cheaper than a trip to Duke or an MRI or what I’ve paid in medication since then. November 2010-August 2013 and still there has not been one entire month where I don’t have a legal or medical appointment related to a cancer I did not sign up for. Even when people talk about the opportunities like Pocatello or the Spartan, I’ve offered to trade lives and no one’s taking me up on it. With that said, trying to focus on the positive, I don’t know how today will go but there is nothing currently scheduled for all of September!

I am about to get on my bike and go because the letter I was served with was that if I didn’t show up, the default position would be that the judge would state he was the winner of the case. But trying to focus on what matters, and to create some distractions as the morning passed by I walked to HEB and got some new hair product Kiana’s been wanting and some chocolate and we will do a new art and crafts that’s been sitting for a while. I don’t know what the judge’s position will be today. But what I do know is my default position will be to be a good happy athletic father (to a girl who I hope keeps making her default position to pick long dresses) which is what it is and what it should be about.

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