[Tom] [Colophon] [More pK]

Well, she went back to school today... eighth grader... wonder if she can spell "eighth," took me three attempts. An eighth grader in middle school is on the top of the hill; big time. Next year she'll start high school... bottom of the hill... a pattern she'd best get used to.

Where, oh God, does the time go??

And with this fleeting time does the summer go.... summers, beautiful snatches of life which only identify themselves in early September... "Hey," they say, "You just missed me.. again!"

I spent a lot of time with her this summer... I know I did... more than usual. I hope they don't ask her to write one of those stupid papers on, "What I Did On My Summer Vacation," because she'll come up empty in the event department... (if she's like me, and she is, the events of this summer will occur to her when she's about 45).

I know we spent a lot of time together because I sat forty feet from her on an upside down yellow, plastic bucket behind a dusty home plate catching her fastballs.... let me see... about 70 summer days times 110 or so pitches per day equals about 7 thousand, seven hundred pitches; that's quality time, I'd say. Her control, never mind her exceptional velocity, is becoming quite good; she's even starting to call her pitches. Every now and then, though, she'd release the ball a little early and a screamer would land in the dirt in front of my bucket, sending my legs off the ground and my ass over yellow-bucket... "Daddy," she'd say, "I'm going to buy you a cup!" (as a seventh grader she would only have "thought" that thought; as an eighth grader, she says it). One day, when she was particularly serious in her pitching practice, I waited till she was in the midst of a windup, hands high above her head and serious eyes drawn into my catcher's mit target. As she began her forward motion, without batting an eye, I hoisted my right cheek up and let go a resounding fart which echoed through the hollow bucket and out across the dirt infield... The ball never made it to the plate as she burst into laughter and fell right down in the dirt... she'll rtemember THAT when she's 45!

And this summer she started cussing, too.... aloud, that is. For years, she would never cuss aloud, (even though she'd write the words to her friends). My wife doesn't want her to cuss; I don't really care. "Daddy," she used to say as a sixth or seventh grader, "Would you get mad if I cussed?" "No," I used to answer, "I don't give a fuck," and she'd look at me and smile. She's not at the "sailor" level yet because she inserts a "pardon me" before the cuss word comes out: "Peter, pardon me, but Heather was really acting like a bitch-asshole." "Well pardon me," I'd answer,"But fuck her if she can't take a joke."

She's only been in school for five hours and I miss the hell out of her.

This morning she was moody before she left for school, (even though she's very excited about going), like she is every other morning when she gets up; it comes with the chronological territory. And I've learned to just ignore her until she's ready to socialize with me... that's something I'VE learned over the summer. She looks about sixteen or twenty three or something - (I can no longer discern the ages of females who are over eleven and under twenty-five...THAT comes with the chronological territory as well). She's been on a rage for corduroy pants, (you remember them), for several weeks... they're "in"... so much, so, that she spent a day building a fence with me to earn money for them... more quality time. I thought she'd wear them today but she didn't... she went with regular jeans... (the cords are semi-baggy, and although that's cool, it's not the impression a tight pair of jeans makes on the first day of school... (and she doesn't know that I know these things... and I won't tell her that I know these things either)).

She got her first hickie this summer... and everyone was in an uproar about it... except me. I noticed it first when a sudden breeze blew her long hair back from her neck while we were getting ready to practice pitching. "Hey!" I said, "You got a hickie!" She played dumb as in, "What? What are you talking about?" What? No I don't!" And so forth. I smiled and we went about our practice. I've developed a philosophy about the early teenage years - about how rich they are - and hickies are part of them. This poor girl took more grief from everybody about that little hickie, (or is it hicky?). Men, I've come to learn, are real hard on young girls with hickies... so are mothers, but the men are the worst; they're fucking hypocrites is what they are. Anyways, I've concluded that our culture at large will punish the young girl who got the hicky... and I will have no part in it... (the next one, of course, will be hidden from view... placed more strategically... ("Fuck 'em all," say the proud little people with their new-found sexualities and hidden hickies... that's what I did with mine, anyways).

She took me to the movies this summer... we saw Independence Day. We went out to eat a few times with each other as well. We spent many hours talking about her music... her favorite groups and artists and songs; she bought me two cds - one Cranberries, (my favorite), and one Alanis - who I'm growing to really like. And guess what! She told me, the other day, that she's planning to take me to see James Taylor when he comes to Concord!! Imagine that!!

We never made it to Hat Creek this summer because of my workload and her softball tournaments... the first summer we've missed since we started going together when she was seven... I'll never let that happen again. We talked about going and I asked her if she wanted to bring a friend or two... she said, "No, Daddy, I just want to go with you" ... and THAT even beats seeing James Taylor!

Well, I see by the clock that if I leave now, and drive slow, I'll be in front of the school just in time to pick her up and take her to the first of her two softball practices. These fucking kids! They make you do everything for them! I got better things to do....

Hey Codyboy!! You miss her too? Wanna come? Ride in the back of the truck?


Glorious September,





[Tom] [Colophon] [More pK]