Fight For Your Right

I always knock before I walk into my sixteen-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Gender issues aside, I remember how my parents never allowed that courtesy, because, it was their roof and their rules, damn it. So, I got what I deserved when I entered a few days ago.

My sixteen-year-old daughter and I share a love of music, different types mind you, so we’re both usually wearing ear buds while singing or dancing to our favorite songs. Like her, I will play tunes on my computer, my iPod, or in the car and lose myself in the lyrics or guitar riffs. When the music is from my time as a teenager, memories will flood and I’ll become familiar with that time in my life I first heard the song or what was going on around me.

The door knob to my daughter’s room is always ice cold. I’m usually carrying towels or trash or cups so I dread the touch of the knob. When I see the door isn’t closed all the way I breathe easier. After I knocked twice, it occurred to me she had to be asleep or listening to her iPod. I ignored this realization and acted like a lame parent. I bumped open the door with a butt cheek and there she was, dancing and singing and enjoying whatever her ear buds were offering. Her look of surprise and disdain transported me.

Rainy days as a kid meant I had to stay inside. Sometimes friends came over, but since my house was almost a mile away from most of my pals, it meant I would be alone in my room. I don’t recall the edict, but I wasn’t allowed to lock my door. I don’t know if my parents thought I was taking the movie Scarface too seriously and running a cocaine ring out of my place or if they were jealous of my record and cassette collection but that was their mandate. When I was channeling my inner Diamond David Lee Roth or perfecting my air Jimmy Page, I’d go into my closet. Go ahead, make your jokes. Done?

The closet was tiny. My three daughters’ closets are of similar size to the one I performed in, so they don’t hang out in them. They just shove their junk in and go lock their velvet-roped bedroom doors. But my closet had to be a dancefloor, rock and roll stage, and an awards podium. My lame parents caught me, deep in fantasy, wonder and The Beastie Boys Licensed To Ill. My glares were dagger-filled.

I wanted to hug my daughter and tell her I was sorry. I knew how embarrassed and angry she felt to have me interrupt her Taylor Swift dance party. I cared about her stabby glower. It made me think long and hard about the kind of parent I really am versus the one I seem to not be. I’m lame and I need to yell over the knock. The immediate future of my oldest daughter’s life will be amazing for her imagination. Every teenager deserves their bedroom inner sanctum of fantasy, wonder and make-believe superstardom.

****blogger’s note****

This is a personal post designed for Write On Edge’s RememebeRED memoir:  

After I finished laughing, I started thinking. So often in our lives, defining moments occur when our past and our present or our future clash. For this week’s RemembeRED prompt, write a memoir post describing such a time and the results.

While writing, remember to bring us into the moment and let us experience it with you.

I’m going to be generous and give you 521 words.

Today’s song is what was playing in my bedroom, a lot, at age sixteen. My mom never took away my best prono mag but From’s The Beastie Boys’s 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill, here’s (You’ve Got To) Fight For Right (To Party)

Born of Frustration

Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac. This is for you.

James was brawny and tall, 6″4″, with a coif of long blonde hair that layered over his impressive head and shoulders. I couldn’t stand looking at him, well, at least in the way everyone else beheld him. I felt like a little boy, a pipsqueak of nothing. No matter what I said, tried, did, played, or wrote, it fell at his feet like broken arrows in a bad television western. I was too young to understand that James was a moment in time not an era of accomplishment. We were early twenty-somethings trying to figure out if screwing or doing or brewing was the way to be men. He called me by my last name, an insult that kept me in a place, my pathetic place, of insecure discontent that walled much more anxiety that I already experienced through my own disordered brain. Women tossed their bodies at James, he’d treat most of them with groupie indifference, work when he wanted, and get away with things that would’ve crushed my reputation. I would get lost in plotting, scheming, and pontificating how I would make the idiots around me see how I was smarter and more interesting than him. Nothing ever worked. Instead of getting attention or, God forbid, poetic justice on the smug lug, my words and thoughts would wander like smoke trailing into my nether region of envy, born of frustration. Time showed James peaked, back then. He was only what he was in front of everyone’s face. My 5’8″ brown-haired twitch of motor-mouth, dark moods, grunge clothed, music lyric spouting, notebook writing stress ball was a work in progress. I was minor league to his major league. But looks fade, people change, things move, thoughts matriculate. I used to see James as this Goliath and me this pathetic David, slingshot unarmed, a fool’s view. Years have a way of evening scores while maturity and gravity laugh at them over lunch, something grilled and diet, of course. Cheers, James. Hope you’re well.

*****blogger’s note****

In celebration of one of the truest artists in history, Jack Kerouac,  and a nod to three prompts; StudioThirtyPlus’ “Envy” , Trifecta Writing’s “Trail”, and Write on Edge’s “This week we’d like you to write about a time you found yourself comparing yourself, unfavorably, with someone else. Focus on how the comparison affected you, negatively or positively.” I wrote in the unstructured, stream of conscience style of the late beat superstar. It’s a great day to celebrate being a writer.

Today’s song is a distant memory. This is something emo and dumb and almost forgotten that I listened to during my time of comparision to someone else. Here’s James – Born of Frustration.