Dad in the Used Dad Section

Last week at
the used book store
I found myself in
a wealth of books
at the moment so I
drifted to the used cd’s
and records. There’s an
art to browsing the music
section. You don’t want to be
the guy that lingers
in one spot forever ’cause
someone might notice the
smell of three day old b.o.
and tzatziki on your breath.
But if you go too fast your
just pretending to browse.
As good faith would have it
I found the only copy of
Ziggy Stardust and knew I
was going to claim it.
I didn’t recognize any of
the titles on the back, but
knew that I’d heard just about
every song on the album.
It’s that kind of album.
My son has known Bowie through
his collaboration with Queen and
has shown some interest in the guy
so I passed it off as a kind of
a gift. I used to think
Bowie was some kind of dyke.
‘Cause that’s what I called lesbians
back then, dykes. Being old enough
to have heard the word and young enough
to throw it around. I regret that,
but also like that regret is
locked somewhere between the
conscious level of having dealt
with it and just having beat myself
up for it. There’s a difference.
I’ve known fifth graders who
wash their hands better than I do.
We listened. That was the gift;
we listened together. And I
realized that as much as I try
to teach the kid with words, with
diatribes, this kind of action—
was the real teacher, the real game changer.
It was a gift to both of us. What’s the word for
the moment between doing something
spontaneous and becoming self conscious?
I’m not exactly sure,
but for now I’ll call it Bliss.

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