Invest in Patience

short stories

Some mornings are made for hitting the snooze button one too many times or well, not hearing all four alarms go off at all and jump-scaring yourself out of bed to start the day.

Some mornings are made of waffles popping out of the toaster and into your six year old’s hand while on the way out the door dressed in cowlick.

A two year old in need of a fresh pullup and a five year old saint holding the door open for you while you forget your keys only- the five year old has let the dog out and now we have to chase the dog down the driveway with a juice cup, human and coffee in hand.

Life Management Tip: In hectic situations where multiple things go wrong all at once, prioritize on urgency and pace your quality control until nobody has died and all is right with the world.

That’s motherhood. Resolve all issues in the most efficient way possible without anyone running into traffic or choking on a lego.

Life Management Tip: If You’re a Leader, Don’t Lose Your Shit

If the kids sense me panic, they panic. I have to keep calm and reassure everyone that nobody is dying and no beloved dog of the family’s will run lost.

I’m the only faith they know. Mom’s got it. And, the dog is fine. He’s more than fine actually, he’s a jackass.

Invest in patience.

Life is chaotic, and it’s hard to sort through which chaos is worth pursuing and which isn’t worth your energy. Life is gonna cause you to hit the snooze button from time to time. Life is going to make you tired. But, you choose what you invest your mental focus into. The house may look a little muddy today but, everyone is fine. I’m writing.

Invest in patience.

Last night, my six year old was having a day on the way to Delaware Park. He was outside of himself, frustrated with the world and he wasn’t in the mood for the playground. THE PLAYGROUND! He was irrationally upset and we could’ve easily gone home, wasted the night on unnecessary tears and crossed arms, tired…

Invest in patience.

So Oliver took Pax to the playground while Janek and I took a stroll. We talked. We played, “I Spy” on the way to sit down somewhere nice. Things calmed down.

I sat with my five year old son and our dog on the steps of Albright Knox Art Gallery and we played, “Which Color Car Will Drive By Next?”

We took in the view of Delaware Park, Do Ho Suh’s Karma behind us – sooo many people in the park on this beautiful summer evening… Some tourists drove by in a cab to snap a photo of The AKG. I thought, “This is Buffalo.” – and we played our silly game.

Sitting there, it may not have looked like I was actually doing anything to comfort my irrational six year old but, in hindsight… I was educating him on E.B. Green’s architecture, Frederick Olmsted and the works created by internationally recognized creators.

We continued scouting for purple punch bugs.

I spiked his interest to actually see the museum. I promised him we’d go to the next, “First Friday” and we made a date of it. The dog was becoming tolerant of park activity (he’s very anxious) and, I was hungry and had to pee something fierce.

And then my son took a deep breath and said he was ready to go back to the playground. Like, he’d gotten everything he needed to feel better and continue on with his day.

I was his, “feel better.” Me. He just needed me to invest my patience into him… that’s all any kid really asks.

He ran back into action and when it was time to leave he negotiated an easy exit for one last time down the big slide… and obliged.

Midnight Ride

poetry, short stories

We didn’t have much money or expertise, so we picked up some loaners from my parent’s place. They were Schwinn mountain bikes that had never ridden out of suburbia. I was not a bike enthusiast. All I knew was to click my gear on an incline. The less my chain popped, the better I got at it. I wasn’t a health fanatic, biking wasn’t for sport. But, I did lose twenty pounds that summer peddling.

We met at 11:30PM on Sundays downtown outside a local bike shop. Hundreds of people gathered waiting for midnight to hit, and then we were off like the drunk tor de France.

One of my largest rides was with a group of three hundred. We rode to City Hall’s circular path that sat in the off hours of Buffalo’s busy business bureau. One guy attached speakers to his bike, played indie jams we could all sing along to, and around and around we went…

Another night, we played follow the bad-idea-leader to Woodlawn Beach, (i rode over 40 miles that night). Our plan was to throw a big party to celebrate our arrival. We almost made it but, when the cops saw a circus of biking bozos barreling down an empty highway, they swerved us back to our Silo City.

Back in 2010, Buffalo was still abandoned with rusted fishing tackle and corroding brick. The Great Depression knocked Buffalo out cold, and for a while we just laid there sleeping. The streets were rich and hardly lit with historic artifacts and sleeping architecture.

We often stopped at the deserted train station, a crumbling landmark and drank Jameson out of flasks. Sitting on the steps, observing other’s dress. Some in costume. Some plain like me. A man nearly naked accompanied by his sneaks streaked gleefully through the playful crowd.

Colorful costumes blended into something sweet under a summer night’s sky in Buffalo June. Roman candles popped and sprang into the dark, infinite gloom above us. Not a suspicion of chemtrails to it, this crowd feared no consequence. These were times not yet analyzed by the consequences to our actions, just a bunch of rebellious souls freely pushing life into another gear.

As the hours turned into morning, the crowd would slowly start to disperse. If you made it to 5am, you rode to the docks- a thin strip of cement tucked into the lake’s armpit near the highway. We’d build bonfires on the disintegrating rock and cook hot dogs with canned beans to fuel up for our last labor toward home.

I was brand new and twenty, like a doll in a daze. Exploring the borders of our city, I was helped not to fear. Things did not make sense here; but, the high on a five speed cruising through the most desolate parts of town was worth knocking the kick-stand every Sunday.