My dad and I finished the baby gate today.

My dad and I finished the baby gate today. My dad did all the work, and I was ten again, holding tools and fetching screws, occasionally getting to drill something in. I didn’t complain, because I think my dad likes to feel like he is still needed, and I grow weary of hearing him fuss if I don’t do something exactly as he would when handling a tool. I was trying to minimize the friction so that we could just get it done and get moved in tomorrow. Right now, the move seems almost impossible, given that there is so much stuff still laying around, but it will get done by the end of tomorrow, and we will cease the apartment living I have quickly grown to hate so much. When you have someone stomping around upstairs at almost any hour of the day and night, Tejano bass pumping next door, alternating with hip hop bass throughout the night, people smoking and selling dope in the stairwell and their cars or playing hiphop from loud car speakers at 3 in the morning–it’s a life for college kids and younger singletons, but hasn’t been the kind of atmosphere I’ve wanted to live around for a very long time.
The house is unpretentious, a cookie cutter from the late 90s that now looks like it belongs where it sits in a neighborhood whose trees have grown up to give shade everywhere where there were none back in 99 when I lived near this house. Nobody is going to say “wow, you’ve really made it, living in a house like this,” but nobody is going to come into the neighborhood and turn it into anything other than an average, boring family suburb any time soon. I wish that I could say I feel that it is the most perfect house and neighborhood ever, but I am a realist–my income is probably peaking at the most I will ever hope to earn in my lifetime, and this is the kind of house that I can afford with it.
I really do want to spend thirty years here, watching my son and hopefully another little one grow up, leave the nest, get a decent professional job doing something semi-respectable, and then sell the house for a little less than twice it’s worth now so that my wife and I can afford to live in a modest retirement community until we die.
I’m tired of dreaming, scheming and pretending like I’m going to go on and have an exceptional career making so much more money than I do now, and become someone I never will be. I’m still hoping I can learn a little more math than I do now, paint a few more paintings and get slightly better on the guitar, while trying to stay in shape. That’s it. It’s taken me almost twenty years to get back to this place where I was mostly ready to move to a neighborhood like this one and start a family, but just wasn’t ready to do it with the person I was with at the time. Unfortunately, it’s taken me awhile to come full circle and accept myself for the schmuck that I am.

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