Today kicked off to a weird start, with a dream of me, my brother and my father play a game of Texas hold 'em in plastic suits in a meat locker with famous princess bride actor Mandy Patinkin.
Woke up at 5:50 am again and went to work. I love that we get the chance to listen to iPods while working. Makes the day go by a whole lot faster.
As promised, I leave work a 3:30pm to go visit my father. I pick up a Coffee coolata for me and a small black coffee for him. It's somewhat become a tradition. He always gets a small black coffee, it's his thing.
I wait in the car, reading Best American Short Stories 2008, when he shows up. I help him with the groceries inside the house. After that, my mom takes off to leave us boys alone. He starts preparing food and putting things away. While he does this, we talk.
I tell him about how married life is, how I'm not hungry (He keeps offering me food), and generally how we're doing. He still moves quick for his age, very light on his feet. But, I guess you have to be when you're cooking in the kitchen.
The talk leads to work. What I've been doing, how long I've been working, stuff like that. Eventually he talks about his work at Alberto Culver, the Shampoo warehouse. He tells me how he started from just being a janitor to doing every thing in the place. There was no one job he hadn't touched on. My father, an everyman. He was even a general manager at one point, with 35 people working under him. This impresses me to no and and raises my eyebrows high. To this day I'm still learning about my father. He's a quiet, yet wise, bear of a man. The characters I love the most in my stories (i.e. Thomas Wilker and Horace Grant) have the same physical description and personality of my father. My father is a deep well of thought. There's always been a bit of mystery to him. In the same way as I've scrambled for jobs in the past, so has he. Like father, like son. It wasn't until he found out the company wanted to hire someone and give them more money, but they also wanted my dad to train this guy, that he finally called it quits to their face after 15 years.
He asks me about the books and I tell him I'm making some headway. Every couple of days I make another ebook sale. I explain to him how the kindle royalty payments work and he's listening carefully. When I tell him that some of the royalty payment we used to buy food, he gives me a nod and says,"There you go." He smiles, I offer him a fist bump. It feels really good to have your father be proud of you for something he's encouraged for years.
As I'm about to leave, he tells me one day he'll get into my racket, writing books. I grab him by the shoulders and do a playful shake, "But when?" I ask. He's told me time and again how he has a good western story in him. He just has to write it down. He's told me details, but even from those little tidbits, I see the edges, almost the outline, of a larger, greater western story that's never been told. "I just have to get motivated." He says. "Something has to provoke me. I need to get good and fried up about it."
At 5:40 I decide to go home but not before I hug him about three times, shake his hand twice and tell him I love him twice. I've begun to miss my father the longer I don't talk to him so I'm going to try and call the his house more often, just so we can talk.
The grand re-opening of my father's pizzeria, I find out, is being delayed but, I swear, on the drive home, I can almost taste the pizza slices now.
My wife and I sit, talk, joke. We order Mexican food and watch a couple episodes of Burn Notice and Seinfeld. The night ends with me almost falling asleep in a book - a great american pass time: Snooze Reading.
I get up, type up this blog then finally go to bed.
Oh, and about that movie The Vampire's Assistant, it was dull. More details to follow tomorrow. For now, I need rest.
Tomorrow starts a new day of different market strategies to get my books in front of more people.