A few weeks back, driving out to play raquetball, I heard The Dollar on the radio (you can with YME). And I could tell where the song was going to go from the start. And I was reminded of the time I was at Thacher (boarding school in Ojai – a prep high school, not reform school, as one of my college roommates had feared – I dunno why?) and I wanted to know who sang Cat’s in the Cradle but it was pre-internet and so I called my dad to ask him, cause it was a song he used to play.
And we chatted for a while, but at the end of the conversation, he had decided that he would come up to visit me. I guessed that the song guilted him into it. It wasn’t my intention. I just wanted to know who Harry Chapin was. I always liked how he changed his tone at the end of the song – at the realization moment. But my father’s reaction to the song was funny to me. And if he didn’t come up, I guess I’d also have a story to tell too…it’d be a story for me either way.
Anyway, I’m at the stoplight on De Anza and Washington and this dollar song goes into its tear jerker moment – mother’s calling the father, saying he doesn’t need to chase the dollar cause his little man’s got one for him at home. So I’m there, tears streaming down my face like a little girl at 8 in the morning on a Saturday, thinking about attention and whether I’d give my little Salmander enough or not – but if I don’t, will he do something cute and touching that’s song worthy, and if he does, then isn’t it worth a little lack of attention to get that special moment, where I could retell the story to get chuckles and tears? But maybe he won’t, maybe he’ll just become bitter and spiteful and then that little experiment wouldn’t have gone so well. Life ain’t easy.But it can be interesting.
So I wiped away the tears and drove on. That was the first time I beat Shawn…