Start at the Beginning

This whole thing is being written down for my babies. Maybe even for their babies, but that might be a bit of hubris. I just want them to know how I got to be who I am, that guy that makes sure they sleep well every night, that dad guy. It’s all goofily morbid, I guess. I just know that it all can slip away so fast, and something exists in all of us that makes us want to try and tell a bit of what mattered to us in our short time in our thin space suits.

I should start by telling them that I’m listening to The Minutemen. That would actually tell them something about what moves me and why the Econoline continues to haunt my sleep. I guess I am starting that way. Let me change the focus. Hello, babies. Hello angels. Smart. Beautiful. Kind and healthy. Your father is going to tell you as much as he can of his life, starting with his most remote, unknowable memory. This is appropriate for someone who barely remembers what happened three hours ago. So, in an apartment on Pine Street in San Francisco, California in the Autumn of Love, I entered the world of bright lights and air. One of you has hopefullly inherited a painting of a UFO over the SF skyline. I will explain more about that later. For now, just know that you should hold it close for a while longer. That morning I almost arrived without making a dent in the paper carapace of our government. We we were so close in those early hours, but I ended up leaving the warmth of home for the realm of doctors and birth certificates and social security numbers soon after being born.

As you will soon learn, my biological father was sort of a selfish and well-meaning chicken. I only entered the system because he was unable to cut the cord. He was later able to conveniently ignore the cord that should have tied him to me and my sisters, but that’s kind of telling too much early on. I mostly want to elaborate on my birth, because it allows me to tell the story of my mom, your grammie, the way I think it should be told, truthfully and with the sort of awe that you may never feel. For that reason, I am guessing that this will be the longest chapter in the story of my life.

I have many friends who are now all old and stuff, but they really don’t understand the world from 1964 to 1967. They want to, they all think they do, but they don’t. They have paid their dues at the magazine racks and record stores and thrift stores, and they’ve looked for a long while at the backs of their own heads, but they continue to miss the mark.