The iPad 2 on my desktop demanded my attention Thursday at 8 AM, as did my iPhone, my Canon SX30is and my Timex. Time was my essence principle. Oh yeah, I can’t forget to take the Kindle, my Kindle Fire. That was as simple as 1, 2, 3. I packed all the items in my briefcase. It wasn’t exactly a briefcase anymore; it was my LIFE’S BLOOD. I had become tech addicted, a gearhead.
Where was I going? Oh yeah, I was driving from Monterey, CA to my son and daughter-in-laws home in San Francisco to spend the night, to be introduced to their first child, my first granddaughter, that was born 9 days ago, and I couldn’t do without my life’s blood.
Toothbrush, change of socks and underwear, a freshly laundered gray hoodie, motorcycle boots and black leather jacket, all were my nuances of presentation, and I’d packed one each and thrown the overnighter into my Sunset Orange Honda Element. I couldn’t leave yet. I had to go back inside my home, get a bottle of water and The Hunger Games hardcover novel by Suzanne Collins, which was given to me by a homeless guy on Alvarado Street last week and that I’d began to read the night before.
Back in my house my landline rang. “The Dough Rollers band is in town,” Jack said. “We have to go see them tonight.”
“I can’t. My 9 day young granddaughter is expecting to meet me this afternoon. I can’t disappoint her. My son would hang me and his wife would ignore me forever.”
“You can meet your granddaughter anytime,” Jack said. “Come on, when will you ever be able to meet Malcolm Ford, Harrison Ford’s son, or Jack Byrne, Ellen Barkin’s son, again?”
Tempting, but how irresistible was it? I could meet and visit my granddaughter anytime but partaking in the Dough Rollers would be one time only. “I’ll call you back on that,” I said to Jack.
Thinking this through would be thorny . I took a chair, pulled out my iPhone and hit number 1. My 41 year old son answered immediately. I told him I’d been delayed at the onset. He said, “Not to worry, dad. You’ve been a mercenary. Your thought processes are different from civilians. We’ll be here when you arrive.”
What should I do? Should I wait out the day, write the next chapter in my Regeneration manuscript? Hop onto my Harley later tonight and meet Jack at the Alternative Café for an hour with The Dough Rollers? That sounded noble to me.
I went into my office, turned on the light, sat down at my desk and opened my laptop. I looked around the room, up at my 32-Inch Full HD 1080p LED HDTV on its stand with the Roku LT Streaming Player next to it. The Logitech Squeezebox Radio Music Player with color screen sitting on the book shelves, and in the far corner of my office sat my VIBE Sound VS-2002-SPK USB Turntable/Vinyl Archiver w/built-in speakers that will rip my old vinyl to MP3s.
A touch of angst shot through my brain. All this technology in my office I’d used occasionally, almost every day over the past ten years, writing my six novels and a couple of dozen short stories, as well as going on excursions shooting video, taking photos, traveling half the world, immersing into foreign cultures, wondering where in the world I’d end up.
Here I was, at home in Monterey. I’d become a nexus gearhead connecting all the dots via technology. And in the contextual aspects of life watching my son mature, travel the world, become a gearhead himself, get married then have a baby; and I’d hesitated at this juncture, determining what had priority in my life; go to a rock concert starring The Dough Rollers, comprised of four post-teenagers singing songs I’d not heard, presenting their young experiences and interpretation of life; after I’d been a mercenary and had seen and experienced tragedies that should never had happed, disasters that would rip your heart out or cause an aneurism just from knowing that such human atrocities shouldn’t have happened; or go and introduce myself to my granddaughter, a newly created, beautiful 6 lbs. 10 oz. bundle of soft, cutely human nature.
I’d decided that there was no choice to be made and priorities weren’t relevant in this situation.
Family always comes first.
Leaving all the tech stuff at home except for my Canon SX30is I’d spent two days introducing my weathered self to the granddaughter of my dreams. My son had taken this photo of his father and daughter bonding. The warmth of Granddaddy Ben's thumb lasts a lifetime.
Ellery 9 days young.