Dear Diary

I’ve run a few marathons.  I’ve done a million pushups, and twice as many sit-ups.  I’ve hiked a few mountains.  I joined the Marine Corps, and thrived.  I went to Pensacola and flew navy airplanes, and even went to war.  I ate shit out of a plastic bag, and had a navy doc shoot me up with Anthrax vaccine.  I’ve seen the enemy, and they have seen me.

I’ve had the flu, and had it coming out both ends.  I’ve had broken bones, had surgery, a broken heart, and watched my dad slowly die.

I did calculus and advanced physics, aeronautical engineering, stuff that I still don’t fully understand.

I’ve had conversations with irrational women, but are there any other kind?  Boom!

But nothing, nothing, is harder than being a parent.  It kicks my ass and warms my heart.  I laugh and cry, and wonder how in the hell those three little creatures have come from my loins?  I want to hug them, and then sneak up behind them, and strangle them.  I can’t imagine my life without them, but when I do … I smile.  Bliss!

I want to be a better man, and husband, and especialy father, but oftentimes I fall short of these expectations.  I try, and won’t give up.

Mostly, I’m there for them, screaming for them to clean up their goddamn bedrooms.  To pick up after themselves.  Seriously.  What’s so hard about picking up your underwear … Gabi?  Yeah, you!  I love you, now turn off that damn computer and go to bed.  And laugh all you want Matthew, Chloe, ha-freaking-ha!  What with the Legos all over the place and sneaking rolos from the candy jar, running around the store like freaking lunatics.  Does this look like an insane asylum to you?  No?  That’s because it’s the produce aisle.

I don’t read the books on parenting; I trust my instincts, but not always.  Sometimes my instincts tell me to drop them off at the bus stop with twenty bucks and a crisp salute.  Horrible, I know.  That’s ten bucks too much.

I see their flaws, realize they are my own, and here I thought that I was perfect.  I’m not.  I’m a writer, pilot, and a United States Marine.  I’m a husband, and especially a father.  I’m the bigger lunatic in the produce aisle, chasing three crazy kids with carrots in my hands.  No, it’s not the insane asylum.  That’s our house, and I can’t imagine it any other way.

Dear Blog

First off, let me apologize for the neglect.  It’s been a while since our last visit, and I’m sorry.  I take you for granted, Blog.  Assume that you will always be here, which is wrong of me.  My bad.  Seriously, what if you come down with a virus or something?  What if the NSA locks you away, and you go from all of my pleasantness to a life behind bars, and now you’re hearing about sodomy and vile prison endeavors?  What if someone makes you his bitch, or what if I have underestimated you and you make someone yours?  What if you’re not who I think you are?  What if you’re scheming against me, right this very second?  What if you’re laughing at me, judging me?  And here I am apologizing to you.  Perhaps it’s the guilt in me, injected by the catholic church.  An image of Jesus on the cross, dying for me, of all people.  Doesn’t even ask, just says, “Hey.  Asshole.  I’m dying for you.  Deal with it.”  I want to go back in time and tell him not to bother, certainly not on my account.  Who needs the burden?  But I can hear Him now: “Yeah, this crown of thorns, your fault.  These nails in my hands and in my feet?  You’re welcome.  No no, it’s okay.  I’ll take this one for the team, you just keep on sinning, that’s fine.”

I want to say, “Dear Jesus, leave my dumb ass out of this.  Seriously.  What, you can’t just die like everyone else, you gotta make a spectacle of it all?”

“Well, you want salvation, don’t you?  Heaven and shit like that?”

“There’s gotta be a better way to heaven and shit than all of this nonsense.”

“If there is, no one told me about it.”

“So why didn’t you ask Him, about a better way and all?”

“Who?  God?  Just between you and me, we’re on the outs.”

“You’re on the outs with God?”

“I’m not the first person that He’s had problems with.”

“But you’re His son.”

“That’s what I said, only He replied: ‘Why me?'”

“God said that?”

“God has said a lot of things.  Said this whole thing was a publicity stunt, an attempt to steal His thunder.  The nerve.”

“He makes a good point.  Like, first there was God, and now what, he’s gotta share the stage with you?  A bit of a power grab, wouldn’t you say?”

“Not a bad idea, though, right?  If not me, sooner or later somebody else would’ve had the same idea.  Imagine Mark, the son of God.  Or Timothy?  Ahmad H. Christ.  It just doesn’t ring, does it?  No.  You’re better off with me.  Jesus Horacheo Christ, eternally begotten of the Father.”

“So all of this is a freaking scam?  Is that what you’re saying?”

“Certainly that’s what the Jews are saying.  What?  Are you a Jew?”

“No, but I’m giving it some thought.”

“What about Christmas?  And eggnog?  And candy at Easter time?  There’s been some good of this, and I was going to die sooner or later anyway so why not liven it up a bit?”

“I do like opening up presents, and the whole Santa coming down the chimney is fun for the kids.”

“Who is stealing thunder from whom?  Seriously, that Saint Nick has been a pain in my ass since the third century.”

“It’s his topnotch PR campaign.”

“Yes, but what about me?  The whole life after death bit?  How does it get any better than that?”

“That’s so abstract.  Whereas I can see and touch Christmas paper, can smell a Christmas tree.  You have yet to tell me what to expect in Heaven.  At least the Muslims get 72 virgins.  What am I supposed to get?”


“Ever eat a deep dish Chicago-style pizza with a pint of Sam Adams beer?”

“Sounds wonderful.”

“I know, right?  So why couldn’t you have promised something like that?  Or a blow job?  But no, all we get for a lifetime of guilt is bliss?  Jesus H. Christ.  What’s wrong with you?”

“I guess that I didn’t think it all the way through.  Goddamnit!”

“Ah, don’t be so hard on yourself.  I have a feeling that the people are going to love you anyway.  The water to wine bit?  Genius.”

“That was a nice touch, wasn’t it?”

“You just didn’t follow through with it.  Why couldn’t Heaven be a waterfall, and you’d turn that to wine?”

“Christ, you think of everything.  What else?”

“And it’s not 72 virgins, but 73 naked virgins, in heat.  You know, up the ante a little.  Maybe recruit a few over to your team.”

“Where were you when all this was going down?”

“I wasn’t yet born, Jesus.  A time machine brought me here, which is another thing that you could have promised.  Oh, and an iPhone, with unlimited minutes and texting.  People worship the shit out of their iPhones.”

“Hey, Jimmy?”

“It’s Jim, and what is it?”

“I’m getting sleepy, Jimmy.  So sleepy.”

“It’s the blood, Jesus.  So much blood.”

“For you, Jimmy.  Don’t forget, I did this all for you.”

“I really wish that you wouldn’t have.”

So I’m sorry, Blog, for neglecting you.  I’ll try harder, promise.

In the name of the Father, Ahmad, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Huh, He’s right.  Jesus Christ is better.