I got punched in the gut again today.
Just yesterday I was teaching the nephews how to make chocolate covered bananas. Tiny monkey fists kept grabbing at the ones cooling on the parchment, met by big monkey hand-slaps from me.
Halfway through the chocolate and most of the way through the end product, my old man called. Only it wasn’t my old man.
“Hey pop! Whatya doin?”
Val’s voice shook on the other end. “Hey Jon, no it’s uhh, not him. Uhm…listen…”
I already knew. I already knew but I had no idea what to do.
“No, keep going guys. Be careful of the fire.”
I walked out to the driveway instinctively, like getting into the car would drive me back in time for one more afternoon nap with those damn golf announcers whispering on in the background. Like if I just hung up right now, I could probably make it before he fell asleep, curl up in the unused space of the couch, hear his old ticking heart keeping the time.
But before I could make it to the car, she ruined it.
“The clock stopped.”
My vision blurred and my phone was in my hand but now it was in my pocket but the keys weren’t in my pocket where are the keys to the damn car there is no car my sister has the car but I have to get there who will watch the kids I don’t care I have to get there why is my face wet I need to go.
Then my face was buried in someone’s chest. But it wasn’t his. And it never would be again.
Today I heard of Scott Hutchison’s passing, and it all came back for just a split second.
I never knew the guy, but the music of Frightened Rabbit was something inescapably human, and understood me in a time when I felt like no one did.
I know what’s waiting for me at the so-called end that these men and countless more have met. That’s not what matters.
Scott himself nailed what matters:
“While I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth.”
(Song recommendation by Jon Johnson)