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Monday
May262008

Dear Jackson & Lucy,

There’s a fundamental contradiction in the core of a Dad’s job description.

1). I am supposed to assimilate you into our culture.
2). Our culture is sick.

This fundamental contradiction goes for the most part undetected because the mass of Dads are so successfully assimilated into our culture that they can’t see it for its sickness. Our disease insists we don’t have one.

But here’s our little secret. Nana & Grandpa failed with me. I’ve slipped through the cracks. And I don’t mean I’m some wacky Dad who likes to get down at Disneyland. You know who I’m talking about—all those idiots who act all fun & “childlike” while the others are looking. No. Kids, gather in close and listen: adulthood itself is a sham.

The moment we stop screaming about our vaginas, the game is over.

Careful now. There’s a kind of dance to it. If you don’t learn it well, you might go to prison or get fired or, worse, lose money. But there is a way. We can still dance in slow motion in the orange graveyard. We can knock down all the blocks and have candy for breakfast. And even though the city is burning—O there’s no doubt the thing is alive with fire—we’ll keep dancing. We still have ears for the music in the flames.

My little ones. Never, never, never mistake yourself for these literal people. I love you like the night loves its stars: Dad

Sunday
May252008

2 Rubber Snakes

For the last 2 years, Northwood has been relatively quiet, but it has of late been overrun by hooligans. These hooligans ride their bikes around with no hands and no shirts. They just ride about screaming "Hey!" to one another. Hey Blake! Hey Austin! And so on. When Jackson & I drove past The Dog Park, a park so named because I guess people take their dogs there, we spotted a pack of the above mentioned hooligans.

Me: Hey Jack. Why don't you go play with those hooligans?
Jack: (suspiciously) Really?
Me: Yeah just... you know, if they start doing dumb stuff like throwing rocks at cars or whatever then just - what's that? you know - just... do the right thing. There you go.

I had visions of him laughing, being one of the hooligans, sharing cigarettes, being rude to girls. The boy doesn't have friends. I want him to have friends. Like me & Dan Parker & Chris Delaney friends. Spend the day riding bikes back & forth to each other's houses kind of friends. Scoring brownies & red juice from each other's moms. But Jackson is 9 and he still can't ride a bike and he doesn't really have friends. And yes you do note a tone of shame in the atmosphere of my relation to my son but please know that the presence of this shame makes me want to sob out loud like Pablo Neruda outside a barbershop.

He was back in the house crying within minutes. A boy had whipped him with 2 rubber snakes. You read correctly. It was 2 rubber snakes. I asked him how old the boy was, how big the boy was, and why he didn't grab the 2 rubber snakes and whip him back. He said he was a 3rd grader, that he was of average height & build, and that he didn't know. His answers led to this pearl: "If a kid is whipping you with 2 rubber snakes and he's younger than you and he's not some weird hulky kid, then just grab the 2 rubber snakes and beat him about the face and neck."

I thought about changing my blog title to If A Kid Is Whipping You With 2 Rubber Snakes And He's Younger Than You And He's Not Some Weird Hulky Kid, Then Just Grab The 2 Rubber Snakes And Beat Him About The Face And Neck but I'm hanging in there with the vagina thing.

Calm down peace lovers. I know this was the wrong advice. I knew it was the wrong advice the whole time I was giving it, but that's what popped out. It popped out as a kind of safety device to protect my son from the question that was really trying to press through me: "Jackson, honey, lovely little curious boy, why? Why don't the kids like you?"

I underestimated this blogging business. This might be too hard.

Saturday
May242008

By Way Of Introduction...

Greetings. My name is Black Hockey Jesus. Says so right on my birth certificate. Remember when Pony Boy Curtis said that to Cherry Valance in The Outsiders? I’m already lying. Expect it. It doesn’t really say that on my birth certificate. It says Jon. But, you must admit, it would be cool if my birth certificate did say Black Hockey or Soda Pop or The Wild Black Dog Lurking Behind The Moon Who Is Said To Devour Each Moment In His Voracious Maw. Who would mess with me then?

Anyway, my name is Black Hockey Jesus. You might consider this a name that the “real” Jon hides behind, but you’d be wrong. It’s more like an empty name, something more fundamental than my given name, a container from which the fantasy of Jon, among others, emerges. Nice to meet you.

I conceived of writing this blog to explore the fantasy of myself as Father. I’m a Dad. I’ve been a Dad for almost 10 years but it’s a notion that’s shockingly resistant to sinking in. You know when you wake up and you think it’s Saturday but it’s really Monday? Then it hits you: oh man it’s Monday. Sometimes it hits me like that: whoa! I’m a Dad. Other times it’s like I think it’s Friday but it’s really Saturday and I think: hey! I’m a Dad. There’s so many ways my Dadness Dads, but it’s always a little like I’m waking from a dream.

I emerge as this Dad in relation to Jackson, 9, and Lucy, 4. The only possibility of our survival is grounded in the being of Angelina, the heart of our family. Angelina shook me from my poststructural godlessness and turned me into some goofy Greek pagan convinced he traffics with divinity. Don’t get me started. We live with 2 cats, Pan & Luna, in a master planned community where nobody knows our names. This is the context wherein my rage wavers between repression and eruption.

Friday
May232008

Stumbling Blog

Today I am a blogger. And this is the initial, self-conscious, exploratory post about the what of a blog, why blog, and to what end blog. I seriously don't know. My summer job just fell through. I'll be spending 3 solid months with Jackson & Lucy. This both thrills and morbidly depresses me. And I want to blog that contradictory thrilled depression. O sure I have a pocketful of cute stories about my kids to make you chuckle and forward to family & loved ones. But there's also parts of me that find my children despicable little creatures. I am so many. And who can say anyway that I want to write post after post about those 2 raving Gods? Let's face it with Yeats: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

For the most part I want to stumble along in the dark, not know, and, hopefully along with you if you're so kind enough to stumble with me, witness the blogging of the blog as it blogs forth in its own way. Perhaps we could prop each other up like a couple happy drunks.

Friday
May232008

The Daddy Blog

Found out last December that my old mentor & friend had slashed his femoral artery and painted his apartment. I spent a couple months calmly reasoning with his ghost, “C’mon,” I would mutter, “Don’t be dead.” Then, as if waking from a long dream, it dawned on me: I should write. Started getting up at 3:30 to write short fiction & poetry. A friend of mine said I should write one of those Daddy Blogs. A Daddy Blog? Later, I took Jackson (9) to soccer practice, put Lucy (4) on a swing, and sat on a bench to read. Lucy screamed, “The wind, Daddy! The wind! It feels so nice. It’s nice in my vagina!” I looked at my daughter. She appeared to me in this context as the radical opposite of all dead things. Her long blonde hair waved and flapped and wind rushed up her ecstatic vagina. I thought: “This perhaps constitutes my right to write one of those Daddy Blogs.”

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