A dads uniform
(Now my own)
On any given day I saw the many faces of a man.
I watch him play his roles like they were well rehearsed scenes.
He was a star in his own actions, drama, thrillers and romance.
He wore his soldiers uniform on sunday, torn jeans, white T-shirt with no sleeves and abrasions and scrapes gave stripes to his big arms.
He had oil on his hands and grease on his chin, barking orders as he worked on the car.
" Hand me that 3/4 standard and torque it to the 5th notch"
"What!? What the **** language was that?" I thought to myself as I awkwardly reached for the 1st thing my eyes spotted and held it up.
"That's a hammer Alex!" He said shaking his head as he smiled and walked toward me. He rarely had a disappointing tone. Later he explain the workings of a standard torque wrench Vs a metric wrench with converter. 10 years later I used that wrench to change my Edelbrock Electronic Carburetor 400 series twin stoker all by myself.
I once saw him defend his honor. That day he wore his heroes uniform as he leaped from person to person striking, grabbing, kicking, and throwing the 3 large men who underestimated his ferociousness. His tank top was ****** from the wound on his nose. His hat fell to the dirt next to the beaten, unconscious, and humiliated foes that once stood before him.
I could see that he intended to continue his lesson in respect but as he glanced over to see my wide open mouth and unmoved stare he quickly contained his aggression. He picked up his hat and shook it a few time to knock the dirt off. In that moment was another unexpected act. He help the worst of the men to a sitting position and asked him if he was ok. He was genuine in his concern that he may have been excessive in his judgment.
Later that night he explain to me that violence should never be the 1st choice for a solution and our actions should reflect the person we want people to see.
I would remember this 15 years later when sitting with the man I just choked unconscious, letting him drink my gatorade and catch his breath moments after he attempted to robbed me at knife point. In that few minutes I learned his life story. My friends said my actions were foolish.
Duct tape and crazy glue are the tools of every street born medic.
T-shirt gauzes and boiled stones often made his grace when he wore his First aid uniform.
As a kid I did DUMB very well, from gun powder soup, to a game of dart board hands. One of the more gruesome moments was my apple cutting malfunction. I severed my finger at the base pretty good. I cut right through the knuckle at the base of the index finger. It was the 1st time I fainted. Its still a debate weather it was the loss of blood or sight of it. Like a seasoned veteran he jumped into action. While most doctors would use a coagulant like Lanxess, iodine and 22 gauge suture for this injury but not this man. He opted for all purpose flour, beer and duct tape to disinfect and seal the wound. Even though it was 3 hours before the emergency room would clean and repair the damage, I didn't shed another drop of blood while his homemade fix was in place.
I learned a lot of (what his friends called Ni**a rigging) first aid tips from him.
12 years later, while on a training exercise with my CCC group in the forrest, a grade worker suffered a compound fracture from a slip and fall while hiking. I used a heated licorice root as antiseptic and 2 flat rock, my shoe in soles and a belt to mend and set his arm well enough to hike 2 miles back through the trail till we found help.
When I write my poetry I never know what it is people see or interpret from it. I know the workings of romance and I know the power of its application. The day he wore his Casanova uniform I witnessed 1st hand the great reward a little effort can bring 2 people in love.
On a normal day in the park us kids ran around yelling and screaming while him and mom sat on the grass watching us play. In the moments of a physical dilemma I sat next to him to catch my breath as he talk to her about random things. I knew my presence was interfering with whatever moment him and my mom were having but I was too intrigued by the task he was performing on the side to care.
On the reverse of a box top he drew a picture of a monkey sitting on a tree in the middle of the water. It was handing a flower to a mermaid sitting on a rock. I never forgot the joy on my moms face when he handed it to her and said "this is us."
I saw that picture everyday displayed on her mirror. Here I am 25 years later looking at my own art and words displayed across the walls of my home. My wife often looks at her description in the words and her name in the titles. Our own son invades our personal space as we sneak kisses and exchange affection through his predictable intrusions.
My own uniforms hang in my closet waiting for interpretation from onlookers.
Suit up and be seen, or close your eyes and remember his many suits. Your in my thoughts. I hope this finds its way to you.
-Alex J Meighan-