This Young Dad

This young dad. This young dad in the room. This young dude with the lights out. Dancing alone, of his own volition. He has his headphones on. His wife asleep. His daughter asleep. He sways in the dark. His thumb scrolls the screen in his hand. His eyes glossed over. His lips stained purple from the Montepulciano. He mouths the word Montepulciano as he pours a glass to its brim. “Last glass in bud,” he cheers’ himself. “Last dance wins.”

He opens email on his phone. His face lit blue for all to see in the windows outside this ground level living room. He’s in a real bungalow: A California King. His robe is open freely. He has a captain’s hat atop his head. Hasn’t taken it off since France.

I know we're not all there together and we haven't talked about this too much, but are we all happy about this new record by this old band? Are we all sort of swaying together in our separate living rooms? If not just maybe don't say anything.

He sends the message, feels it slipping away. He turns the volume up and does a big spin on his heels against the hardwood. Puts his phone in his pocket and sways. He laughs out loud as takes a big sip from the too full glass. “Stemless Susan,” he whispers to the glass. “A glass with no legs… shame, shame, I know -” The young dad picks his phone up, slides his thumb over the buttons.

I just think that, the older we get, it's easy to think of things like the time we shared together as a nice one off, like a trip to disney land or the year your team won it all, but we should remember that it was more than that. We were dads. In france. And also a groom, who was not a dad, but in France.

This young dad sends the second message, puts the phone down again. Oh baby, he thinks. He cradles the wine glass in his palm, old Susan, old Stemless. The synths rise. He wants it to last. Wants the dance to dance itself skyward. Age and time and getting older and what happened and what’s next and how now. He slides his phone out once more.

luv u bois is all

The light turns on. He presses his thumb over an arrow.

“Honey,” says his wife in her nightgown, leaning like she's been there for ages, hand on her hip. He looks up at her, rests his hand over his exposed belly, his open robe.

“Oh babe. You gotta hear this.”

“Do you want to put it on the speakers?”

Yes! I really do.”

“Ok.” He swipes the phone to airplay, sending a signal to the receiver which broadcast from the monitors on the bookshelves.

“Would you like to dance with me?”

“Ok. I am quite sleepy though.”

“So, just take one step forward.”

“Is that good?”

“That’s great, babe. We’ll have to play this louder tomorrow.”

“Ok love.”

They flick the light off, make a paired silhouette through their bungalow window. This young dad with this young mom's hand in his hand. Thinking tomorrow we can play it louder. Even louder than we did today. We’ll open the windows. We’ll let the light in. We'll all sway.

*This worm was a simultaneous effort prompted by a captain, out at sea in the night.