A place to indulge my narcissism... and write stuff...

No Direction Home

After midnight is not a good time for me to wake up. Well, alone anyway. It must be an age thing, but if I wake up after midnight, it usually means at least a couple hours of consciousness before I’m asleep again. One night recently it was a bat flying around my room that did it, but usually my sleep is pretty restless until I know Megan is home, safe in her bed… or on the couch, asleep with the plasma tv still on, glowing with the image of a test pattern…

This house is home to Megan, and that’s a calming thought to the man raising her. She and her friends spend quite a bit of time here, and trust me as a reasonable adult they can talk to. Kyle certainly makes himself at home when he’s here about half of each week, but in his mind, motivated conditioning has taught him, “I live at my mom’s house.” In spite of that, my son certainly feels “at home” when he’s here. It’s the love and security in it that makes my house a home for Megan and Kyle.

Home. The connotation of the word is usually good, but not always. Many a weary traveler are consoled by the words, “heading home.” “Bring them home” is a rising sentiment toward our men and women in Iraq. “Home for the Holidays” sounds good, but often doesn’t meet expectations once you get all the relatives in the same room. In baseball, “home” teams usually fare better than those “away” because they’re um, “home in their own beds,” and “enjoying a home-cooked meal.” “Go home” is something every baserunner wants to hear, and hitting a “homer” is so cool it inspires nicknames all its own like “dinger” and “round-tripper,” even though an enthusiastic “HOME RUN!” from a good announcer totally gets the job done. On a side note, Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is a colorful metaphor of the pursuit of another kind of home run. The song includes classic “play-by-play” from former Yankee announcer Phil Rizzuto: “Holy Cow, I think he’s gonna make it!” Unfortunately, then Ellen Foley gets to sing and the first words out of her mouth are “Stop right there!” OK… Think about baseball… Where was I? Oh… So announcing a homer is good, but being a “homer” is bad. I mean, who’s more obnoxious than John Sterling belting out “Theeee Yankees win!!!?” Yeah, that’s right. Nobody. Finally, for a pitcher, not being able to find home is very bad…

It was around 1:00 am when my paternal instincts woke me to Megan’s absence. An animated phone discussion around the definition of curfew ensued and my girl was soon, uhhh, home comfortably sleeping in her bed. I wasn’t. With no World Cup Soccer replays on, I settled in to a PBS station for Martin Scorcese’s Dylan documentary. I’ve never been a big Bob Dylan fan, but after seeing this film, I’m stunned over what I’ve missed. It’s like not seeing Springsteen and the E Street Band live until 2003. I really can’t find any other way to describe it. If you’re a music fan, see the film.

So, obviously I’ve been thinking about home and what it means. One year for my birthday, my then wife gave me a door-knocker. No, I’m not kidding. I was kind of offended that I didn’t get something more for “me.” You know, something to meet my own selfish needs. The truth is, I just didn’t get it… The golden colored piece was etched:

Daley
Love is
Spoken Here

Yeah, that really was a home, but I broke it and have been searching for my own “direction home” ever since. Lately I’ve also been pondering the home at the end of the rainbow. No, not the nursing home, the one after that. The one near the Iowa cornfield… or the one with the 72 virgins… or the one with all good karma… or the one with Pearly Gates and harps…

Trying to find the way home can be difficult. Even if a person never gets there, isn’t it important to simply enjoy the journey and the elusiveness of the search? I may never find my way home, but I’m still looking. Hey, maybe I’ll stop and ask for directions.

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    wow…somedays you really have a way with words, don’t you?

  2. Anonymous

    My 85 year old Dad, king of sarcasm, and come to find out, a pro at channel surfing, stopped on a channel last night. The sound caught my attention, so I went into the living room and asked ‘Is that the Dylan documentary?’ My Dad’s dry reply ‘That guy’s high.’ Unfortunately, it was the end of the show.

    -M.

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