• Richard Scrimger

dreams were your ticket out


I got up this morning and made a noise, rolling over in bed. If I was writing the noise down, putting the vowels and aspirates of the foreign language into readable Roman letters, it might look like: Unhhoahhh!!


Yes, the exclamation points are part of it. This language uses a lot of exclamation points. Translation is easy. The word means: my back hurts. That bit down at the bottom of my spine -- those vertebrae I abuse when attempting my fit teenaged son's ab workout -- is acting up.


Don't worry, this is not a Gosh aren't I getting old post. It's a bit more esoteric than that. See, I was watching a rerun of the 70's TV show Welcome Back, Kotter the other day. And in this episode Gabe wakes up with a groan, turns to his wife and says: Oh, no! That noise ... that's my father's noise. Every morning when he woke up he'd make that noise, and now I am making the same one! Gabe's entry into middle age is through the door of his father's morning ritual, and the rest of the show deals with him coming to terms with himself, his family, aging, sunrise sunset, ho hum.


My back-hurting noise this morning is not my father's noise. If that's where you thought I was going, think again. My dad is as fit as a flea. He bounds around he place exhausting his grandchildren, making the rest of us feel old. No no, my noise, that Unhhoahhh!! complete with exclamations, is -- get this -- straight from the TV show. Letter for letter, intonation for intonation. It's dead on. When I heard myself this morning, I said, Oh no! That noise ... that's Gabe's father's noise.


You expect to walk through the garden of mortality with your parents as guides. You learn from their experience, agreeing and disagreeing, changing what you can, accepting what you can't. I'm on my own with my back pain here. The only model I can look to is Gabe. Great. I wonder when those sweathogs will come by to make fun of me.

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada