spin cycle of tears

when i was a kid we went to the laundromat every sunday morning

back then i hated it, or thought i did

we would get up early, my father and i, and get there as it opened

a deck of cards and endless hands of spades or hearts or go fish to make the time go by

i got older and would walk down to the arcade, a big deal walking the streets alone even at that ungodly hour

dad would have a coffee cup and a twelve pack in the car from which to fill it

we were regulars, a group of nomads without the luxuries of common convenience

sometimes i would bring coloring books and crayons and we would sit and color everything the wrong colors and laugh at our clever creative monstrosities

i never stopped to appreciate those moments of just the two of us

i guess no kid ever really looks at what is happening around them and savors the quiet times

it is the exciting times that stand out, that flavor the sweet halcyon days of youth

the washing machine finally died this week, a strong workhorse that did more than it’s fair share for me and mine

but laundry never stops

so this morning i got up early, made the kids breakfast with the doting attention i seem full of lately

singing ska in the kitchen and skanking in my boxers as their sleepy heads roll out to face the day

and i brought them to the laundromat

with a deck of cards

i realized it wasn’t about me and my selfish needs for explosions as a kid

it was about being together and enjoying the quiet time together

in building that smells like fabric softener and being a kid, minus the beer filled mug but with smiles and hugs

and i had to walk outside

as it hit me how much i miss you dad, wish i had taken the time to appreciate those special moments without the fear

maybe i won’t get a new washing machine so quick

it takes a while to master card games and once we’re home the call of friends and other distractions will take over

maybe we can make those memories that will fill them with sweet sorrow for simpler times

of being a family and laughing and loving

i don’t know, maybe i’m just a nostalgic fool with too much time and an excess of love to give

but the clothes are spinning and the kids are grinning and i am misty eyed with the wish that you could be here dad, to color the hero’s skin green and his tiger magenta and blue

not crying per se

maybe a little

but you would understand i think

i love you

6 thoughts on “spin cycle of tears

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