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


Black hole in space

Celestial Deadline

As agreed, your first day of work will be on Monday, January 1, 2018, 6th floor of the Burnside Building on N Sycamore Ave, which is two blocks from the State Capitol building. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Mr. Know-It-All Name Badge Customer Support Help Service Assista

That Guy

"A lot of 'ums' today. Lots of opportunity to use the squeaker. Just saying." ...

[ Swap Article ]

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

Driftwood Dreams

The Toastmasters gift keeps on giving. Here's Project #5, delivered this past Thursday. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Group of black wooden frames on old painted  wood panels wall. Gallery, retro style

Walled Open

Is it a puzzle? he wondered, staring at the empty space on his office wall. If so, how do I solve it? He stroked his chin with the thumb and index fingers of his left hand, repeatedly pinching from a width in line with the corners of his mouth to the center. Then tapped with the pinched digits at...

[ Swap Article ]

Mountain Everest outdoor adventure insignia. Climbing, trekking, hiking, mountaineering and other extreme activities logo template.

Everest Rising

I arrived early to scope out the place. Posters on the walls outside, weird designs, bucket of paint here, tip-of-the-brush-stroke there, indicative of too many illegal drugs, digital drafting programs, and rancid dreams of escaping this old town!; vagrants camped on the sidewalk; vicious shouts...

[ Swap Article ]

lawyer

Dandy

I'm becoming a Dandy. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Beautiful orchid flower background with copy space

Orchids and Oracles

Playing cards were scattered across the floor, appearing in odd locations, seeming to buck the expectation to follow a trail. Whose expectation? The one that said certain random cards, if claimed with haste, and if said cards matched the house's hand, could lead their bearer to a reward. The players...

[ Swap Article ]

Colourful lighting bulb

Illumination

After realizing he'd spent five hours researching oil lamps, tallow candles, and ancient spells to conjure light, he decided his life was pathetic, and he bought a floor lamp. ...

[ Swap Article ]

christmas snowman decoration

Shiny

I imagine a big hamster wheel. I step onto the tread, move one foot in front of the other, feeling the sole of my shoe grip the inclined part of the curved wall, sunlight glinting off the shiny, metal-trimmed edge, and I press forward and down. ...

[ Swap Article ]

man janitor plumber  silhouette

Starter Memories

He wrote with the eloquence of Hemingway but spoke with the cadence of R2-D2. That sentiment is what I sought to avoid when I joined Toastmasters. This week, I gave my first speech: the Ice-Breaker. As directed, I reduced this to notes and spoke extemporaneously. Full text: ...

[ Swap Article ]

Crazy smiling woman in the eyeglasses

Babysitter Odds

During a Monday-morning weekend recap, a co-worker and I covered my performance guest worship leading at St Johns Wesleyan Church in North Portland, the awfulness of the new Adam Sandler movie Pixels, the superiority of Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond vs every other actor who has played the...

[ Swap Article ]

Figuren-Serie: Mann entsorgen - na so etwas!

Death Benefits

He opened his eyes to a world of blurry shapes and muted sounds. He had no clue who he was or where he was, and thought, I have no clue who I am or where I am. A novelist by trade, the plague of redundantly repeating in dialogue what he'd just specified in narrative had always dogged him. ...

[ Swap Article ]