insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

The man rolled down the street behind the wheel of his classic Chevy pickup. He turned the radio dial as far as his wrist would allow, feeling a bone crackle in protest. He passed pop, country pop, hip-hop, and several …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
Close up detail of a classic car at a car show

Filed Under , , on November 7th, 2015

Scrolling Oldie

By Seth Kabala

The man rolled down the street behind the wheel of his classic Chevy pickup. He turned the radio dial as far as his wrist would allow, feeling a bone crackle in protest. He passed pop, country pop, hip-hop, and several other closely related mutations, but failed to find what he wanted: classic rock.

Long, tightly-curled blonde locks fell from his scream-creased forehead, thinner than they’d been three decades earlier, when he’d been the front man in an 80s rock band. In his mind, rock music should have occupied top billing on the dial, taking up so much space that no matter the station where you landed, you were treated to a stream of golden tones reminiscing on the regrets of murder with Queen, benefits of Southwest whore houses with The Eagles, and chasing your dreams no matter the cost with Journey.

What was now termed classic rock was just good music. The best music, in fact, for it needed no explanation. The themes were as aurally obvious as the nipples of a well-endowed swimmer are apparent through a thin, red suit emerging from cold water with sunlight flowing over the swell. It was in your face; it was real; and it was becoming forgotten at the ass end of the dial.

* * *

During the Amazonian process of benefits registration for my new job, I was ordering birth certificates for my kids. The process required me to enter my birthdate in the form of month, day, and year. I had to scroll way down to find 1981, those digits a virtualized instance of a cold, hard fact: I am old.

I don’t know what it was about this particular form that stood out to me. I’ve filled out online forms before. We all have. Probably, if you’re like me, you relax your eyes while the scroll bar descends to the year of your birth, taking little, if any, notice of any dates until yours comes into view. It’s an exercise in denial, as if ignoring the years that came after your entry into this world will compress time, raise wrinkles back to evenness, and restore your rightful place as the superhero in your adolescent son’s eyes, instead of the villain.

But we do it. Until we don’t. On this occasion, my vision became hyper aware, taking in every year and every detail of each year. I even flashed to scenes from the respective years. It was unnerving. All I’m doing is ordering some freaking birth certificates, I thought. This isn’t supposed to be a trip back to better times.

But were they better times?

Before proceeding, I paused to reflect. What meaning could I derive from the ability to return to historical scenes upon the stimulus of seeing scrolling dates in a form? Were those better times just because I was younger? No, it had to be more than that, for what defines better?

I define better as pertaining to an instance wherein one has a question about the best course of action and is able to draw upon experience gleaned from prior mistakes. Case-in-point: I now know that a career in public service is the best for me and my family. Better than staying up nights worrying about how to buy food and wishing I could turn into a wearwolf, which would allow me to find food for free, though the chasing of said food and murder charges would be a bitch.

That knowledge led to a new job, new city, new adventure, and new requirements, like ordering birth certificates. It’s a problem.

One I can solve.

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


????????????????????????????????????????

Shuffler's Luck

I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...

[ Swap Article ]

Bully man

Meter Mensch

A co-worker of mine dropped her bus pass in the hall. Someone picked it up and handed it to her. She thanked the person, saying she was sure glad she hadn't lost it for good. I poked my head out of my office and said, "You just ruined a fare inspector's day." Got a good laugh, and it got me...

[ Swap Article ]

Chess board made of white and brown sugar with King

Sweetness and Dark

The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up from the water. It lowers the ambient...

[ Swap Article ]

Holy Cow - handgezeichnete Illustration mit Pastellkreide in türkis

Couch Etymology

From where you sit, do you understand seated origin? The reason for said sitting? If not, you soon will. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Pop-art style poster with hipster deer dressed in yellow glasses and scarf, telling I am cool.

Toxic Bambi

Yesterday while I was writing, Ella, our seven-year-old, came up to me and said she had thought of a joke. "My first joke," she announced, pride streaming from her voice and face. I asked her what it was. Here's what she said, "What does [we'll say Bob] want to do for school? Me U. Get it? Me U...

[ Swap Article ]

World Map in Typography word cloud concept, names of countries

Plan for the Journey

Toastmasters is moving away from its physical manuals and static speech-making program into a dynamic program called Pathways. On January 10, 2019, I delivered my first speech in Pathways: a re-imagination of my ice-breaker speech. If you don't know me, know this: if you give me a rubric, I will...

[ Swap Article ]

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Battle of the Sarcasticons

I’m raising a band of Little Sarcasticons. Defined term? Yes, yes it is. You can find it in the Kabala Book of Sarcasticisms. New chapters available daily. No longer must we be constrained in our sarcastic witticism production. Oh, no, folks. Netflix has joined the charge with their resurrection...

[ Swap Article ]

Secondhand word cloud

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #20

Some vehicles bring lackluster competitive spirit to dancing competitions. Despite their nimble construction, most compact models lack the energy to stick it out in the most heated scenarios. Then you've got the ones who were made for dancing. Made for not just cruising down the road, but for...

[ Swap Article ]

Plumbing Speed Logo Icon Design

Speed Plumbing

The pipe masters ascended the stairs and entered the arena. They'd come a long way, building rudimentary structures to escape cribs and punish bullies as children, graduating to more complicated designs as adolescents and adults. Mario had been especially proud of his design that transported him...

[ Swap Article ]

Fortune cookie bad set. death and robber on paper prediction. Vector illustration

Imaginative Cookies

The executive stepped to the lectern, his stomach churning with nerves and the remnants of last night's authentic Mexican food. Wonderful flavors. Wonderful and punishing, that is. This moment was shaping up to be a repeat of that theme. Investors, the public, the press--if he could convince them...

[ Swap Article ]

Businessman Drawing on the Whiteboard. Pop Art

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #19

A few months ago, I decided to write a daily quote on my office wall. No, I’m not an irascible child who will not be contained in my creative fury. I have a whiteboard that I use for quote purposes and other work stuff. ...

[ Swap Article ]