They are terrible.
The new, revised, updated, way rad version of my book is coming so soon I can barely stand it! You can already order it on Amazon, and look it its insides!
And to get excited, here’s a video reel of the show that started it all.
Aaaaand, if you could do me a huge favor, I am trying to gather your questions about sex and relationships so I can make a bunch of YouTube videos answering you with sass and silliness and possibly a decent answer or two. So email nikolhasler at gmail and lets get to it already.
You wake up and wonder if you’ll ever hear the story of an accidental death and not think that person was lucky. But you’re trying to not take any big kinds of chances with your own life anymore. You’re not walking alone late at night or even considering getting a motorcycle. Life is even, at times eventful, but mostly you can anticipate what will happen each day. So, those accidental kinds of deaths seem especially peaceful.
You’ve got a crush again and that’s got the same frustrations of any other crush you’ve ever had. Even if they like you, they don’t like you enough. Either they don’t like you enough because you just think they don’t, always questioning it, waking them up to ask “Do you like me enough?”, knowing that Jesus, duh, don’t wake a man and ask him that. Or they don’t like you enough to announce to the world that they like you and come morning you rub your feet together alone in bed and have a cry over how maybe it’ll always be this hard.
“Look,” you tell yourself, “plenty of people do like you enough. It’s just that they’re not the people you like enough.” And you think about how their realities are similar to yours, but there’s nothing to be done. Some time a long time ago you heard “don’t settle” enough times for it to finally stick. But it’s not like you have a list of qualities. You’re not silly enough to think that’s a good idea. You just find yourself liking a person and you think that this time, it’s going to work out how you want.
You have things alright, or as alright as they’re able to be. You look okay for what you’ve been through. You feel okay for what you’re going through. You are okay for what’s going on. Everything has a qualifier. And that’s okay, for what it’s worth.
Tonight, on the bus, the same two women will talk about where they think they should go for Happy Hour. You won’t agree that Cheese Cake Factory is a good idea, at all. But, it’s not your place to get involved. When you’re walking to your door, trying not to step on those weird pointy balls that fall from the trees along Fulton, the seeds of a sweet gum tree (small delight inside of you to know the name of the tree), you will pass the same couple that you always pass. They will be walking close enough that you’ll think “You guys should probably be professional three-legged racers.” And she’ll have a smile on her face and they’ll be talking about things like they’ve never had a conversation before. You’ll feel happy for them, truly, and sad for you, truly.
Then you’ll get home and you’ll open the fridge five or six times, like you’ll eventualy see something in there to be excited over.
Sigh. Summer will be here soon. At least there’s that.
The day at work was full, productive, filled with moments where I knew what I was doing; knew what choices to make. No distractions. I didn’t feel underwater. I was competent. I was the embodiment of my “You got this.” mantra.
At home we cooked dinner, watched “Nathan For You” and shook our heads over the brilliance of his ideas. We fist-bumped goodnight, remembered to turn out the lights, lock the doors. I was genuinely impressed by how chill my 14-year-old son is.
I was asleep by 9:15, only woke up twice, dreamt of finding a buried treasure, didn’t glare at the phone alarm at 4:30. I felt good. I didn’t mourn for how things were two years ago. I didn’t think about everything I should have done differently. I didn’t fear for the mistakes I could make in the coming two years.
I woke Ayden. We joked in the kitchen. We turned on Spotify radio and played air guitar. We laughed over the time he got detention in grade school for playing air guitar in class after I’d taught the kids how to do a wicked rock’n’roll knee-slide across the kitchen floor.
Then Roger waters struck a ‘G’, strummed it into a ‘C’, and my stomach hit my knees.
“If you didn’t care/ what happened to me/ and I didn’t care/for you…”
Two years ago, as my birthday gift, Trast learned to play one of the many lullabies I’d sung to him over the course of his life. Now he’s gone, but probably still alive, and I didn’t spend one second yesterday making any efforts to find him. I haven’t even figured out what to do if I get the call that he’s been found. What do you possibly say to a child who, despite knowing how much hurt he’d caused the first time he took off, made an elaborate plan to run away again? How do you stop a child who wants to be gone from going?
“We would zig-zag our way/ through the boredom and pain/ occasionaly glancing up through the rain…”
I have never imagined my life without Trast, but had I been asked to, that’s how I suppose I would’ve thought of it. Miserable. Impossible. Boring and sad. Unsettled by the emptiness. And yet I had a good day. If I really cared about him, how could I have had a good day?
Ayden walked into my room, saw my hangdog expression, gently closed to lid to the laptop, stopping the music in its place. He reminded me that my lunch was on the kitchen counter, told me it was time to go, put his hand on the top of my head and shook his own head “no”, his subtle way of telling me that moping is worthless.
Outside we saw an old dude on a motorized bicycle pop a sick wheelie and we laughed so hard that a snot bubble came out my nose. We waved goodbye at his bus stop, still laughing. I turned back to him, pretended I needed to remind him to check in about a homework assignment, but really, I was memorizing the moment, giving it a new song.
To allow myself these good days does not diminish my love for Trast, or call into question my parenting. To have bad days, bad moments, is okay and expected. But these good days are important to the health of my family. Of course, they are important to Ayden and to me. They are also important to my relationship with Trast. I think he will be back some day, and when he is, I will need the strength of a million good days in between.
So, Mope on You Crazy Diamond, because for today, here’s the song I am choosing to tie on to the good days.
Because it looks like a pretty fun project. If you don’t support it, you will have cooties forever.
Here’s the link to the kickstarter.
Here’re my favorite songs of the past year. Get ready to shake your butt, cry, raise the roof, cut a rug, and probably hit the next button a few times. Yes, I know these aren’t all from this year. They’re just the things I was listening to.
Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t checked out our new show, Border Blaster, and you get done with my excellent playlist and want to keep up all the tunes, go have a listen. World music videos. Good, solid stuff.
Because who else would just humor the letter of a local old jibber-jabbering dude claiming that he is in possession of a rock from Mars?
I love that he starts this interview in the middle of the street for no reason at all. I love that there’s a group of hapless, useless lookie-loos in the back of that scene. I love that he treats this like it’s a real possibility when it’s just a rock. And I love it that at at 9:01, the guy starts to make fun of Huell’s demeanor and Huell doesn’t like it one bit.