Saturday, December 15, 2007

Time goes by in a blink.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my dad's death. On December 14th, 1995, he planted a tree for my mother and moments later, grasped his head, fell into Mom's lap and was gone. Hit by a celestial bus, we said. Good for him, as he went quickly, but hard on us.

He never lived to see me publish a novel. He never heard Molly sing in front of an audience. Yet there's not a day that I don't think of him, sometimes briefly, but he's there. Just this week I told the story of how he taught the finer points of nine ball to the Orlando chapter of an outlaw motorcycle club. It was a sight to see.

It's been two years since Olen Steinhauer inadvertently pushed me into writing this blog. In that time I've threatened to quit a few times, but that never stuck. And in that time I've let some pretty raw emotions darken this Dark Planet.

It is what it is.

I don't have a counter on this thing so I have no idea how many people stop by to see what shiny object has attracted my attention this day. But I hear from people. They tell me they enjoy this place and I'm always surprised because really, most of my posts are blather. Amusing blather, at best, but still blather.

Most recently I heard from Gary Myers, the man who painted the painting Jenny and I bought last year. I was flattered that he reads this blog, and surprised, as usual. But whatever keeps bringing you back here, Gary, I'm grateful. And maybe soon I'll be able to afford another one of your paintings.

There have been other readers, people whom I greatly admire, first for their generous humanity, second for their skill at this scribbling craft. Again, I'm grateful.

I have no plans on quitting, and as long as you're enjoying yourselves, I hope you'll keep coming back and dropping me a line every now and then when something strikes you.

In the coming months there will be more politics, you can bet on that and there will be more news that remind us of our innate absurdity, along with more uncensored communiques from the abyss, and more cheap jokes made at others' expense.

There will be news of the film's slow crawl toward the light, more word counts on this novel that won't die, more quick notes slipped in between meetings at work. More notes on our collective progress, when there is progress.

There will be music, if I can figure out how to imbed an MP3 into this thing and there will good news, too, when it brightens this spot. For instance, on January 11th, in Chapel Hill, Molly's band will perform. It will be their third gig. That's Molly from her second gig up there, and down there is Molly's poster. If you're in town, stop by. I'll buy you a beer.


JD Rhoades said...

YAAAAAAY! Molly's back singing again! And I love the band name!

David, I may not always comment, but your blog is one of the first I look to each day. Keep at it as long as you want.

Merry Christmas, my friend!

Bill Crider said...

My dad died ten years ago this month, and I think about him every day, as you do about yours. I don't guess it ever stops.

Great poster, and a great band name. If you figure out how to embed an MP3, do it, please. And then let me know how it's done. I can't figure it out, myself.

pattinase (abbott) said...

As my 93 year old Dad is living with us temporarily as we wait Mom's recovery, this is especially poignant. Oh, and this is one of my favorite stopping places.

Jeff Shelby said...

More cheap jokes at others' expense, please - mine included.

Can't tell you how much I wish I was going to be in Chapel Hill on January 11th.

Graham Powell said...

I got back from Christmas shopping to find out my dad had a fainting spell and is in the hospital - he's all right, they're just keeping him there overnight to make sure he has no reactions to the medication they're giving him.

It gives you pause, though, and I'm glad I'm going home to see him next week.

David Terrenoire said...


I know I don't have to say this, but hold onto those moments. My sole regret is that My dad wanted to see the new Bulls baseball stadium, and it's a great one, and we didn't do it. Next season, I said. We'll do a game next season.

Of course, there was no next season.

Time goes by in a blink.

norby said...

Sorry about your dad, but I'm glad to hear that Molly's going to be singing next month-and that's an awesome name for the band.

I'll be looking forward to the mp3.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of your dad -- you look like him. Would've loved to been at that nine ball session.

My father passed in '99. I miss him a lot, but there are constant reminders of him throughout my home and outdoors. He loved dogwoods. Outside there's a dogwood in front of my kitchen window that's growing straight and lifted by the sun because he trimmed the nearby trees, giving it space and light to grow. I keep a running conversation with him while I'm in the kitchen working, doing dishes, etc. Half of its branches fill the dining room table where I write. He feels more 'here' whenever I glance at the tree and very much alive when it blossoms every spring.

Very happy to learn Molly's back and singing. And she'll be here in my town! A good thing. Hope to see you all there!

For a minute there, I thought you were telling us you were closing shop on the Dark Planet. You're an automatic morning read. A little timid voicing my opinion on politics, but we'll see in the new year. Also, thanks for the WWOZ shout out. Love the station. I have artists' names/cds scribbled on bits and pieces of paper while I listen. They're one of the few stations I know of where they actually have fun and enjoy what they're doing. And they're so nice to talk to, also -- everyone's a friend.

Best wishes for the new year to you and your family.


Anonymous said...

Oops -- should read 'dining room window where table ..'


Stephen Blackmoore said...

My dad died in '92 after a slew of heart attacks. It's just one of those things that always hangs around in the back of my head, too.

Glad to hear Molly's singing again. Glad you're planning on sticking around.

Keep it up.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

Everyone who was ever a dad has incredible stories told about them. Mainly because they were incredible; some incredibly good, some incredibly bad, and some just incredible. I shudder to think which of my eccentric episodes my son spins, or will dare to after I'm gone.

Yeah, this is a regular stop for me a few times a week too.


Scott said...

Keep writing, Old Man. Always entertaining, enlightening, and dare I say, engaging.

Ok, I can't "engaging" with a straight face.

But hell, if you write your blog at work, it'll make it seem like you are actually working!

Well, sorta.



Pat Mullan said...


Greetings from Connemara!

I always read you, wouldn't miss your satire, your ascerbic wit, your insight ... I don't often leave a comment but today I'll make an exception. Great memories of your dad ...

It's been two years since we hung out at ITW in Phoenix and I haven't forgotten you (how could I?)

As we say in my own Irish language:

Le gach dea-ghui i gcomhair na Nollag is na h-athbhliana
(with all good wishes for Christmas and the New Year)

Slan, Pat.

(I'll be in New York for Thrillerfest next July - hope you can make it)