There’s a Lot to It
I can see it like it was yesterday. Summer into fall, 2007, the sun is shining, the days are balmy, welcoming. The Red Sox are winning. There’s me, crashing on a loft bed wide open above the kitchen of my sister Sandy’s house. Her house along with my brother-in-law DeeDee. Yeah, he’s got a more ‘formal’ name, but that’s who he was – to me, to everyone who loved him. A whole big bunch of people. DeeDee.
So there we are, we’re in the living room, David, his son, is there, Jordan, his grandson, is there, Sandy flitting around the house doing something. I’m couch surfing having left a job in San Francisco and a couch-surf with my friend Gavin in Oakland and just driven across the country with my son Cameron, who flew out for that experience with his dad. By this time, in this story, Cameron’s safely back in Florida with his mom and at least three of us boys are watching the Sox – well on their way to another World Series championship – me a month short of a new life down in Provincetown running an HIV/Aids house. And something is going on in the game, or something isn’t, and there’s a lot of noise in the house, or there isn’t, or the Cape Times paper’s open with one or another gruesome headline, or not, and maybe it’s between pitches, but DeeDee turns from his recliner and looks back at me and says this – “There’s a lot to it.”
I knew DeeDee from probably early 1970’s on and through my leaving for Portland – 2008 – and I cannot remember the number of times I slept over a month or two – and in all those years and all the dinners and shared yard work and talking about one of his kids or putting me to work on one of his house-building job sites, I cannot remember anything he said to me more often than that – “There’s a lot to it.” Sometime’s he’d embellish it with “There’s a lot to it, Kid”, which I kind of liked, the youthful thing and all, and he’d say it within the milieus of craziness, sadness, trauma, cracking up laughing, not taking himself serious at all – within any and all conditions.
There’s a lot to it.
Lately DeeDee, and him saying his saying thing, has been on my mind. However else it might be said – “Life on life’s terms”; “Shit happens”; “The bitter with the better.” Like I’m rolling down the highway, it’s one I’m all kinds of comfortable on, and then there’s a fork in the road – “That was never there!”, I yell, and some unexpected turn, some detour, some big-ass change of plan is required, and the only thing you can do – the only thing I can do – is make the turn. And see where it takes me.
And in that last little story DeeDee, back from heaven and back because the planet got smaller when he left it, anyway, in this last story DeeDee is magically sitting in my back seat, he’s just there, quiet, watching, and I come to the fork and I have to take the turn and I do because my road – my path – has changed and I drive a few hundred feet…..slow, and I turn around and I look into the back seat and there’s DeeDee, that sweet smile on his face, and he reminds me, “Kid, there’s a lot to it.”