Friday, November 21, 2008

Piece of Apeshit--"Dad gets young"

This is a small snippet from my book, "Apeshit."

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I remember a day that my dad, who I believe was working for General Electric at that time, seemed to be around the house more for a couple of days, and was smiling more and more playful with me and my little brother.
He was about 28 or 29 years old at the time, played in a top-40 cover band on the weekends (see, and was happily married to my mom at the time.
I was out on the front lawn and I heard the screen door close with a whoosh. My dad floated down the stairs and picked a dandelion. He walked over to me and said "do you know you can eat them?" Before I could say no, he popped it into his mouth and ate it, laughing. I laughed too! Then I ate one, and to my surprise, it was very good.

He then challenged me to a foot race. I loved it! I do not mean to imply that my father did not play with me regularly, (he did) it was just that he had so much more joy in his eyes this day. Back to the footrace...first I kept up with him (I liked to run the 100 yard dash at school)...then he blew by me like a rocket yelling "I'm the six-million-dollar-man!" He simultaneously made the "rah-eh-eh-eht-tah" noise that always happened when Lee Majors accelerated to bionic speed. I was like, "wow, maybe dad's bionic too!" Then we went to our back yard where he showed me that he was. He suddenly hit with the palm of his hand our steel fence post that was set in cement in the driveway. It immediately shattered the concrete and came out of the ground! Holy hell! Dad is bionic!


Cassandra Rae said...

There's something missing...I don't know what it is. Keep writing. It will emerge with honesty.

Andre S. Lange said...

Of course there's something missing.

joyinfrailty said...

I like the light-heartedness of this snippet. Perhaps more description of how that experience made you feel as a young lad would help. Speak through the innocent and uninhibited "eyes" of that child: what it smelled/sounded like, what colors/shapes appeared in your imagination, etc. Ok, bionic dad, so how did that shape your identity as a man and father?

Oh dear, now I actually want to try a dandelion. >_<

Andre S. Lange said...

Thanks for the comment joyinfrailty.
Yes, I think you and Cassandra are both pointing out that it needs more emotional impact from how the "child me" felt it. I believe what most people would think is missing is fear--but it truly was missing. Regardless of how unusual my dad was behaving that day I had no fear whatsoever. I had always had the certainty of my father's love and knew he would never harm me, even in a rarified state of mind. My mother and brother were scared shitless. I was just laughing.