September 22nd marks the beginning of Fall, and the 7th of September is the first day of my 41st year on Earth.
Fall starts a couple of weeks after my birthday, so to me they are related. I always know when the Los Angeles county fair is, because it is around the same time, and I know Labor day is also around the same time. I start thinking about Halloween costumes about now, and even planning holiday travels.
Fishing slows down around my birthday as the waters cool and the summer heat dissipates, taken over by chilly, foggy mornings and earlier nights.
School also starts right about now, and I will be taking two classes this semester. Math and Speech. Both are required for transfer to a Cal State school. Next semester I have a science class lined up, and that’s it, I’ll be done with my lower level transfer requirements. Where I go or end up after that depends on the events of the next few months.
I get retrospective around my bday, I start thinking about my father, who passed away on my birthday when I was 14. I have been feeling that way this week again, predictably, but subconsciously. I don;t make an effort to think about it, the dates just serve as a reminder, and as they tick closer to early September, I begin picturing my father, who passed away at 33, doing the things that he did that led up to his passing.
It’s a morbid thought, but it doesn’t carry any darkness for me. That’s the only way I can put it. I just picture him going about his business, which was shady business, and getting into some trouble. I leave it vague, I don’t try to picture the circumstances. It’s more a feeling of trying to see, in my mind, what he looked like, and who he thought he was at that moment. Comparing himself to myself, and to my little brother, who is now at the age my father was when he passed away. My little brother looks a lot like my father did, except I picture my father much bigger. Then again, I think, my father must have seemed to huge to me when I was small, so who knows? Maybe he was my brother’s size? I’m bigger than my brother. Maybe he was more like my size? These are the things I think about, for whatever reason.
Then I think about how he left the world for being irresponsible. I think about how people never speak ill of the dead, and how people tell me they remember my father as a good man. I can’t vouch for that, because while he was a really fun guy, and he had a lot of love in his heart, he also went to jail a few times. Quite a few times, and sometimes prison.
His record, on paper, must make him out to be a completely horrible person. I can’t argue. I also don’t know enough, and was not there, but I’m pretty sure he did some bad things to end up spending almost a decade in prison.
I was talking with my girlfriend about whether or not I would ever tell my kids about who my father was, and I thought about things I’d written in the past about him. Would my kid find it? If so, would they romanticize his lifestyle?
I don’t approve of it, but I would be lying if I said I never daydreamed about it. Gang life is big in my neighborhood. You learn early that there are these types of people, that if you get into an argument, or look at them the wrong way, you are going to get in trouble. Nobody sticks up for you like in the movies, you get into it with these people, and you will take your lumps. Get into it enough, and the lumps become beatings or you can just get murdered. What a thing to grow up with.
What would a kid think of it? My kid? All I can do is hope that I raise a kid smart and strong enough to recognize why it is not a lifestyle to aspire to.
I will say this. My situation in life has definitely changed. in the past, when I pondered all this, it all revolved around me, and how it would affect me. How I was feeling going through whatever introspection I undertook. Now though, I’m thinking of a kid that doesn’t exist yet, going through my stuff online, and I wonder how that will go.
An interesting way to kick off my 41st year.