Hey Amy, check out the picture below. Not the butt of the guy or even your butt-of-a-guy, husband, but that playground contraption first butt guy is kneeling in front of (his dog leach is wrapped around the base—that’s another story). I want to call it a carousel, but I don’t think that’s right.
During my daily walk, in my efforts to delay the Reaper I went to the “Fish Park” one of many parks we took the boys when they loved us, before we became just branch offices of “Need Cash Now.” Other parks were “The Scooper Park,” and “The Purple Park.”
One Saturday you tasked me to get out of the house with Brandon when he was like four maybe. It was an overcast day, but a lot of kids and similarly tasked parents were at the Fish Park. At one point the kids were on that very contraption in the photo and spinning it in a lame, uncoordinated way that is symptomatic of ignorant youth. So, I went over, maybe at Brandon’s urging, I don’t remember, and started spinning the thing in one direction. The children were delighted, laughing and shouting. The faster it spun, the greater the thrill, or so it seemed. Children came from every corner of the city and piled on for the ride.
At one point, a fellow father joined on the other side and aided my propulsion with his efforts. Silent, male teamwork began. We formed a testosterone bond, the kind in old drawings of fortresses being erected. We doubled the exertion and the contraption picked up speed. I heard my wedding ring clang against the metal rails, I looked over at Other Father and he was working it, his face a knot of determination to spin this thing faster. We nodded at each other. Men. I leaned into it, together this thing was gonna be the best ride ever.
The screaming continued, but the tone changed, I was aware that the ride was ejecting children who lacked the iron will to remain, weaker things that the herd needed to expel. Some just flew into the sand, but at least one soared with eagles into a tree. _Find your destiny_ I remember thinking. The contraption was white hot, and the fabric of time was beginning to rend, I could see glimpses of ancient Spartans clashing with Persian hordes, and the glittering spires of a grand Trump-less future.
And then this woman began cursing! She turned the air blue with outrage, telling me and my fellow locomotion provider that children were scared and we were “dumb fucks” for not paying attention.
To be fair, only one or two, clearly green, children were still blurring by. One had apparently lashed himself to a handle. Many were crying in heaps, some limped to their mothers’ embracing arms.
Somewhere in all of that Brandon had removed himself, in the four-year-old-version of “fuck this.” Brandon has always impressed me with his survival acumen.
Other Father and I said something to foul mouthed mother, I did not appreciate her vulgarity in front of children, but I engaged her respectfully.
Other Father and I shrugged at each other and went back to our lives of quiet, parental desperation.
Wanted to share that golden memory with you.