As a young man, Eric Robillard thought he had it all figured out. Years later, karma caught up with him, and he became ‘that’ man.
This next scene could have taken place anywhere, but it didn’t. It happened right in front of my eyes.
I was just a young lad, shopping for a DVD copy of The Omen. I was strutting with a cup of light roast coffee, wearing dashing clothes, looking handsome. There was a man in front of a Dairy Queen, perhaps my age, perhaps older, struggling with a youngling, three-ish was my best guess. I didn’t care much for these life-sucking, walking disasters, but that kid was losing it, crying and kicking and screaming, “You’re hurting me! You’re hurting me! Let. Me. Go!” Now back then, I wasn’t just a charming and delightful young man, I was also a decent human being, and I did exactly what an honorable young man should have done: I meddled in a business that wasn’t mine. “Sir, the kid wants you to let it be. You should let it be.” That man turned around with nonchalance, “You don’t have kids, do you? Walk away and enjoy your coffee and trendy clothes. Let’s talk again when you have your own.” Walk away is what I did, baffled … Kids? Me? Hell no.
This next scene could have taken place anywhere, but it didn’t. It happened to me last week.
I was grocery shopping with my daughter, wearing whatever clean clothes I could find before leaving the house. I hadn’t shaved in a week. I never shave. Who shaves anyway? My beard gives meaning to the bags under my eyes. It screams I’m cooler than all of you. I’m not fooling anyone. Well I am fooling myself, but I know this, which makes me a clever fool. My daughter and I are in the ice cream aisle … God on a pooh stick, how the hell did we end up in the ice cream aisle … “Papa, I want ice cream.” “Sorry sweetie, no ice cream today.” “Mama, I wan’t ice cream.” “Mama isn’t here pumpkin, and Papa said no anyway.” “I WANT ICE CREAM! I. WANT. ICE. CREAM!!” I put my hands on my face, scratch my beard, run my fingers through my disheveled grey hair. “Come on love, let’s get whatever-we-can-put-in-the-oven-for-fifteen-minutes supper. No treats today.” She throws herself on the floor. I try to pick her up, but she goes all Damien Thorn on me. She cries, she kicks, she screams, “You’re hurting me! You’re hurting me! Let. Me. Go!” Until I catch a glimpse of that handsome hipster about to take a few steps towards us. I grab a tub of Häagen-Dazs from the fridge, turn around and walk his way, “Don’t even go there … Don’t you dare …”
That night I had ice cream. All by myself.
This post originally appeared at A Clown On Fire
Photo: Courtesy of Eric Robillard