I am listening to: Wild Nothing, Radiohead, Manatee Commune
What I’m pairing my coffee with: coconut creamer, nostalgia, sweat
As a family, we would often travel to the very, very southern tip of Texas. My least favorite part of Texas. I was born in my least favorite part of Texas. I will not die in my least favorite part of Texas because of the life my father built for me.
The earliest memory of my father is my favorite memory. One day, my father told my mother he needed to go down to the valley. For some reason she didn’t come and it was just me and my dad. I remember feeling like I was going on a real adventure. I packed my “Keropi” purse with junk that served no purpose, and definitely no clothes. You know when kids are little they have a purse for no reason? It’s like, you’re 4 years old…where are you going though? You’re not busy..you have no money.. you don’t wear make-up…
Sadly, I remember being so relieved that I would be away from my mom for a little while. On our way, we stopped at the gas station. My dad said I could get two things that I wanted.
Dad: This is what you want? Ranch Corn Nuts? And this Bubblicious gum?
Me: Yes. That is what I want.
I got the watermelon flavor because I liked how the cubes of gum looked like baby watermelons. I pretended that I was a scientist that had shrunk watermelons and made them into gum. I would carefully bite the green part off before adding the hot pink part to meet the green and then savor the flavor for 5 minutes until it tasted like nothing. Then I would trash it, and eat another piece (when said parent wasn’t looking).
We drove and drove. One hour of not saying anything with Motown tunes playing in the background. My dad designated the song “My Girl” for me. He said I was sunshine on a cloudy day. I will never forget him coming into the house snapping his fingers and singing the song. My mom would follow after him and they would dance together. Whenever I hear that song I instantly feel loved and I am reminded of the sacrifices my father made for me and my brother.
Dad: Ping Look at all of those cows. Have you been counting?
***My father has called me Ping since birth, because when I was born I was a mere 5 pounds and he said I looked like a baby penguin. Penguin dads take care of the babies when the mom leaves. It’s safe to say I have a penguin tattoo for more than one reason.
Me: No I have not. I didn’t know I was supposed to, dad.
Dad: I bet all of those cows are also chewing bubble gum. How funny would that be? Cows blowing bubbles.
Me: They are chewing on cuds.
I knew they were chewing on cuds. But for the next 2 hours I pretended they were chewing gum. For some reason I will never forget this memory. It’s kind of a symbol of my dad’s sense of unique humor. He knew how to tap into my imagination. At a young age he knew I had a creative side that needed to be fed. He knew I was something different, and he still understands I think differently than most people. I have this theory that me and my dad were always connected in a special way because we were both left handed. I like to think that was the very first glue that created our bond.