Radio Days

old radioTo borrow a thought from Dickens, it is the best of times and it is the worst of times. I heard it on the radio.

The best I believe to be obvious. Good friends and a cold beer. A smile from a stranger. A catchy song in the background. A random act of kindness. And of course, the laughter of my children.

The worst is pumped through the media on a 25 hours news cycle. But it isn’t news. It’s just someone trying to make a quick buck by punching us in the stomach. Repeatedly.

The poverty line makes Mendoza look like he batted 1000. Politics is scared and full of those best used for kissing hands, shaking babies, and catching rotten tomatoes with their faces. Traffic. Smog. Hunger. Bullying. Hate. Idiots. Things. War. Disease. And everything that goes between.

The worst of times is pretty freaking bad. Dickens had no idea.


This morning on a winding road we saw an old boat sitting broken and still in a dry desert canyon. The boys asked how it got there. I told them it was probably Noah’s drunk cousin. I promised to stop on the way home so we could look for unicorn bones, but by the time we returned it was late, and jokes about the supernatural are always less funny when you’re standing in the pitch blackness of nowhere.

Besides, they were discussing the need to cut government funding to handicapped kids on NPR, and that’s a soundtrack that makes you too mad to watch sunsets through a warm, golden haze while your children pick up sticks and ask, “Is this a horn?” Instead it makes you want to jump on the back of said sun and shove it as far down as you possibly can. It makes you glad the unicorns didn’t live to see this.

The longer the day the more time for us to fuck it up.


The radio off and the car running, we watched the moon rise gentle and bright. The night quick to cool and the windows down, we listened as the coyotes cried of loss and distance.

We looked across rolling hills, past someone being loved, someone being wronged, somebody lonely, and somebody that should have known better. The stars popped through the stretched canvas sky and teased the sea with twinkles and promises and a longing for places far and better.

The boys were full of innocence and wonder, and someone threw their caution high across the treetops. It soared like dreams and so many souls. I watched it until it was lost among the whispers of the night, hoping that the world wouldn’t take it for skeet.

The road home was quiet but for the snoring.


This post first appeared on DadCentric

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