Okay. I think I probably jumped the gun a bit.

When I unwittingly began my daylog filibuster last Saturday, it was because my wife lost her mucus plug that morning and I immediately convinced myself that the baby would be coming within the matter of a day or two. Here we are, six days later and it seems like we’re no closer to having a baby than we were back then. Well, wait. . . . of course that’s nonsense: we’re exactly six days closer to Baby Mullin’s arrival, we’re just no closer to knowing when exactly that’ll be.

Ah, the endless ephemera of existence.

So, given that I’ve made a stupid commitment, vamp I will if vamp I must. . . .

Let’s see . . . ah! Fatherhood.

It’s something I always wanted, and like the Grand Canyon and New Orleans, one of the few things in life that lives up to its hype.

My own father died before I was born. Indeed, he left behind a perfectly vicious little experiment on the impact of shattering loss on a family of small children, since my siblings are all almost exactly two years apart: my oldest sister being almost six when it happened, my next oldest sister almost four, and then my brother, who was nearly two when the adoring father figure was ripped out of his life. Oddly (or not) it’s only my oldest sister that has any recollection of the man at all. Could it be that this death sowed the seeds of her maniacal compulsion to surround herself with as much junk as possible, so that to walk the 15 feet from her front door to the bathroom requires a heroic degree of navigational fortitude?

My next sister probably should have some recall of my father, but doesn’t. Although you could go out on a limb and peg her depraved need to have a man-- any man-- in her life no matter what the cost to her or her daughter to our father’s abrupt disappearance.

My brother, well, at less than two years old there’s no reason he would remember, but if you know toddlers you also know there’s no reason to assume the loss didn’t have an explosive effect on his life. And indeed, it’s only just as he approaches his fortieth birthday that my brother seems to be getting a handle on the anger that has fueled so much of him for so long.

I, of course, was utterly unaffected, blissfully swimming as I was in the warm dark red ocean of my mother—unless, of course, you want to believe the solace-drinking, chain-smoking and perscription pill-popping had any effect whatsoever; or for that matter, the secondary effects of my siblings’ pain briefly catalogued above.

I only have to give you five hundred words here, so I’m for damned sure not going to delve too deeply into my theories on how this tragedy has haunted my family to this very day. My point right now is that I live with the nearly ever-present— but I believe ultimately healthy— fear that I will follow somehow in my father’s feckless footsteps and never get the chance to know that my kids knew me.

If you ever need a reason to stay alive— and I’m frequently surprised and saddened to read how many people who post here seem to— then step into my perspective for a moment from early this morning, as I push my son’s bedroom door open, expecting him to still be asleep, and instead finding him sitting up, puppeteering a large foam letter “A” across his bed.

“Whatchya doing?”

Letter A is marching.

“Letter A is marching?”


March on Letter A. March on!

I know people who've felt the presence of the dead and I know people who've talked to Jesus personally. I know these people and in some cases I trust these people, but in my whole life I have never had one experience myself or actually seen anyone else have one experience that demanded supernatural explanation. I have seen irrationality at work in the universe and luck, too, but no magic. The miracles I have witnessed have all been the ordinary ones - birth, springtime, the red tide, the grunion run, mountains, trees. How am I to deal with this? I could believe that the world has a magical subtext from which I am for some reason excluded. Or I could believe that these people have lied to me or, more charitably, that they were mistaken. There is simply no overestimating the gullibility of human beings and I ought to know, because I am one. But neither option appeals to me. I try instead to maintain a position I will call belieflessness. If I tell you that I don't believe in God, this is not the same as telling you I believe there is no God. Nor is this a fine distinction. *

The great ball of fire in the sky seemed to grow larger in my perception as it arced toward the horizon. The waves I oscillated upon seemed to exist in diminution to the rays of the setting sun. I've heard that the red tide can be toxic, but for me the lust of immersion was too great. How often do you get a chance to bathe in blood, let alone harness its energy?

Most hardcore surfers will tell you that the waves are best early in the morning, the wind off-shore, and the waves smooth, peeling pure potential energy. I however, being less than hardcore, enjoy the magic of the sunset.

No, not magic; normal. That crazy, beautiful kind of normal that you just can't stay away from, as I sat atop my board awash in an ocean what could very well be Christ's sweat. Shielding my eyes from the bright sun, spotting incoming waves, and then finally catching a raging force of sanguine liquid towards the shore, I drank mystical motes of the everyday ecstasy called pura vida.

As if god was attempting to overload my reality, that day I also spotted the dorsal fin peeking out of the water - coming straight at me. Now, maybe if you were some kind of cetologist you wouldn't have been worried, but I grew up with Jaws as one of my late-night viewing experiences. After the sunset, the fear only heightened the experience as what turned out to be a dolphin gained speed, charged me, and then arced out of the water, completely clearing my height, before reentering the water and swimming off as if nothing special had happened.

"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom." - anonymous

* Robin Scott Wilson
I have written the lyrics of a song. They are to be sung in a fake Texan accent to the tune of Wall of Voodoo's curious early-80s synth-pop hit "Mexican Radio", which is available for download on the internet, for free. I like this song a lot, it is a good song. It helps me to find mental mind-inspiration for my mind, because it has lots of lyrics; more to the point, it has a lot of spaces for me to invent new lyrics, which I can then pass off as original 'poetry'.

New Zealand
New Zealand
such a nice place
Canada to America's Australia
I'd like to live there
it's such a small place
but there are people
who already live there

they would be
mighty impressed
with me
I would rule them
as a queen
and they would bow
to the god-like man-queen

I would decree that
life could carry on
and the people
would be glad of me
nonetheless I
I would move them
to south island
'cause I don't trust them

And I would live
in my own private kingdom
sometimes I would let them visit
the island that they unwisely
decided to give over to me
and I would laugh
in their faces
I would laugh at the open spaces
where there were people
now there are none
to see the mountains
or the sun

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