Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Still you're standing on your feet

I'm listening to Billy Joel this morning.

Why?

I was thinking about my dad. Billy's music reminds me of him.

Why?

Because it always reminded him of me and the last gift he gave me was a Billy box set and concert program. The last concert dad went to was Billy. He went because a girl asked him on a date and he said yes because Billy reminded him of me.

Why did Billy Joel remind your dad of you? 

Because I was once in love with a girl who loved Billy. Which, of course, means I heard a lot of him and came to associate Billy with Jen.

Which is funny because dad hated Jen. He thought she was a bad influence.

He was wrong. I was the bad influence. She was a good Christian girl, honor student. Then I got my claws into her and it all went downhill for her.

Then we each pulled our heads out of our asses and grew up some.

Dad still didn't like her much but, then Uncle Charlie died and something changed.

Uncle Charlie had taken to calling me Charlie Brown and Jen the little red haired girl just before he died.

So dad did the same.

Weird the influence big brothers have on their little brothers.

By the time Jen died I believe my dad was downright smitten with her.

In my haze the weeks following her death I kept Billy and Sting on a loop.

Somewhere along the way dad took to hearing Billy and thinking of me.

I loved that.

So when he went to that concert and sent me that box set and program I knew it was his way of saying, I was paying attention. 

He wasn't giving me a gift, he was letting me know that there was this part of me that was now a part of him.

If he were alive, I suspect he would own the entire Frank Turner catalog by now. I know he would have sent TGB something Frank that he'd (hope) think she doesn't already have. I have no doubt we would have dragged him to a show.

Then again, if he were alive I likely never would have left Ohio and dad'd be living in my guest suite.

Life is weird.

Titty sprinkles!


Postscript - My friend Kate and I were chatting about Long Island and she mentioned her affinity for Billy. That lead to a conversation about his music and our mutual affection for him. Kate's one of those people I am always cheering for. Since that conversation, when I hear Billy there is a part of me that thinks of her, too. And then I smile.