Friday, February 23

Dear Jim,

It’s been the most exciting winter of my life. There have never been this many cold and invigorating days. Even though the wind is exhausting, I hope it lasts until April.

Yesterday during lunch I took a great walk into the wind. It was like March. All these big clouds of various shades of dark gray with a few white ones blowing along. I could have walked all day.

I’m trying to let myself get excited, be carried along and away with beautiful days, especially cold clear windy ones. Whenever I tell people I just had a great walk, they are usually amused. It’s always too cold or too windy or too hot for people to get off their ass to go outside.

Last weekend I read a graphic novel. It’s about a girl in Japan who is going to apprentice as a witch when she turns thirteen. Her mom is a witch.

On the night of her big day, all the relatives and neighbors gather outside of her house to wish her luck as she flies away on her broom with her cat, trusting in the universe that she will find a place to learn and a mentor to teach her.

They’re having a ball flying around trying to figure out the wind patterns. Suddenly a storm comes up. They get soaked.

As she is trying to figure out what to do, she spots a freight train. So she flies down to it. When she sees an open hatch on top of a rail car, she guides them in and they land in a huge pile of hay.

What luck! She takes off her wet clothes then snuggles into the hay.

I loved it. There are three more books in the series, so I’ll read one book each of the next three months. It’s nice to be excited about something.

Did you hear about the killings in Florida last week or whenever it was? I’ve tried to avoid it, but today at the coffee shop I read an article about it. I didn’t know the FBI received a tip about the murder, but failed to act on it. There was a local cop who answered the call about the killer, but did not go into the school when he got there. He stayed outside until it was over.

Everybody is saying we’ve got to ban guns, or not sell machine guns, or run more extensive background checks, or raise the age of gun purchase to twenty-one, or arm teachers so nut cases will fear to enter schools.

But these are not going to solve the problem of mentally ill men, angry frustrated men, and alienated men. We need to have forums: ”What Happened to the Confident American Male?”, ”Why Do You Feel So Small Guys?”

Of course most of the people who showed up would be women wondering what’s wrong with their husbands, sons, brothers. Men don’t know we have a confidence problem. But women do.

One thing to do is not tell boys they are potential rapists. Another thing to do is don’t call a father with no money, car, property, or job a deadbeat dad unless you are calling an unwed mother with no money, car, job, or property a selfish bitch who has abused her feminine intuition.

When I see billboards encouraging men to embrace fatherhood, I cringe. It’s like women have designed these billboards of feminine men being gentle with their kids. Just like mom.

Mothers should be the nurturers. Fathers should be the inspirers. I would love to see a billboard of a father looking sternly at his son. The billboard would say, ”I don’t give a fuck if the other boys steal. Don’t you do it. It’s not right.”

A billboard like that would not be allowed. Comedians can say it every other word. Rappers can say it in every song. Writers can title their books ____ the Boss and ____ Courtesy. But to say it in such an important situation as I just mentioned would offend the people who make family law and lead discussions about the family.

These people are less offended by a man who says fuck you to his wife or calls his son a dumb fuck because in each case the man is weak. Hearing a father judiciously and threateningly use it to his son shows a strong confident proud dad who loves his son and wants him to be good and do good.

The other night my neighbor and I went to a chain Chinese restaurant. We like it because it is close to home. We also like it because it is clean. I got sick of going to the Vietnamese place in the South Area. It was filthy. When you went to pay your bill, you saw huge streaks of black footprints coming from the kitchen.

We always receive a fortune cookie. I never eat mine. I open it, split the cookie, then give it to my friend. He reads the fortune, gives it to me, then eats the cookie.

Last time he handed it to me with a ”Take a look at this.” expression on his face. I laughed when I read it. It said Your confidence will lead you to success.

I stuck it in my pocket. When I got home I taped it to my lamp. I crack up every time I see it.

That’s it for now.

Love,

Dave

Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko