A post by: Cody DiCavalcante (Obviously)
Well, I’m glad we are all here. The one’s that have chosen to read this and the one’s that didn’t choose to read this. I’m going to spend a few seconds talking to you about what I believe is my mission. First off, if I offend anyone in the sentences below, know that I’m not purposely doing so, I’m just letting loose on the old brain cannon. Over the past few years, my idea of what I want to be and what everyone else wants me to be have collided. At first, they were two separate ideas, chomping on each other’s own mental harvest. Now, they tackle and mesh with each other, much like the NFL. Yes, in the sense of grabbing a beer makes it all go away and fantasy ignites and not so much, to the whole idea of male camaraderie. I usually don’t bond with my male peers when I’m battling what is best for me and what is best for society.
When I was younger, I can’t really remember what I wanted to be. Maybe I didn’t want to be anything. I can remember the organized crime of elementary school. Trying to mold us into a certain career at an age when all we wanted was ice cream and cakes. Demons. Trying to make us happy to say “yes” to a certain job for the rest of our lives. The fire fighters and the cops smiled on flash cards and posters held and hung around the classroom. That isn’t what it is. Its guns, yelling, blood, hatred, long hours. I’m happy I didn’t know. It wouldn’t have mattered much anyways. We all change so much throughout life, why bother. I can remember that my dad was an idol of mine. My dad was a lawyer. I loved him. He was the Pale Rider in my eyes. There is a picture of me, at a very young age; I’ll say seven, wearing one of my dad’s business outfits. It was a beige dress shirt and a pair of jeans. With the pair of jeans and a huge gap in the middle of my two front teeth, I looked like a southwestern attorney who avoided health insurance and aging. Damn, if only that was possible. I knew my dad hated his job though. My dad didn’t want to be a lawyer. He wanted to be a writer. That’s the problem with the American Dream; sometimes it’s just not your dream, its society’s. Lawyers are the ones who get the big bucks not writers. Good thing my dad was good at it. My dad never stopped writing though. He wasn’t going to stop just because it couldn’t be his job. I used to walk downstairs, in my early teens and see him typing away at the computer. I thought, “That’s it! That’s what I want to be!” I started using an old type writer and composing short-stories at around the age of eight. I loved it. I breathed writing. I actually remember the first story I wrote, inspired a little bit off the imagery of video games I had played. It was a story about my bulldog, Lucy. She was the main character and was sent to a village of dogs. I can’t remember the rest and wouldn’t share if I did. It was a poor first story, but oh, did it spiral me into a world of words and language. I would retire to the basement, in my dad’s house, that I took care of while he was away. My dad made about 10 trips a year to Scottsdale, Arizona, staying there as long as a few weeks at a time. I’d be pulled to that type writer. Although, my dad was well off enough to purchase a computer, I still chose to use the type writer. I liked the way the machine sounded as I pressed another key down, and down and down. Sitting on a couch contained in the basement with its white walls and cold air, I’d imagine whole worlds in my head and I was happy.
My dad was a silent genius. He kept all of his projects scattered like secret treasures around the house. I admired them and felt so proud to have such a gifted dad and such control to not brag about his talents like some men do, it’s easy to observe in Arizona. My dad had silos of material which contained information on ideas for restaurants, books and even inventions. I once asked him during a strict obsession with the comic book character, The Shadow, to draw a picture of him for me as a starting point for another comic book character I wanted to create myself. It took him maybe 15 minutes to compose the drawing. When he handed it over to me with his Kingly smile, I was blown away. It looked so similar to the actual character in the comic books. I thanked him, not knowing at such a young age, this man was supernatural. I could sense something though. My dad didn’t ever push me into anything. If I didn’t want to continue a sport, he’d allow me to quit. If I didn’t want to go to school, he’d make me a large breakfast and not ask any questions and not even stir up questions as to make me leak information about my fake sickness. He let me do whatever I want. I was a fond believer in the trampoline. That was my exercise. Maybe he could see that I was releasing energy in that way. I always noticed him laughing from the kitchen while I acted out scenes outside, jumping 10 ft. in the air. I liked writing and had a reason and a knack for description, maybe he saw that I’d have the ability to write my way out of life’s ruts. I always noticed him laughing with intensity, as he read over the descriptions of one of my many characters in my writing locker. I didn’t understand at that age what I was going to be. All I cared about was pleasing my friends and family, not with works but with me. I loved to entertain using my own mind.
I was weird in school. I was very misunderstood. I was called stupid more times than I care to remember. Even my teachers thought there was something wrong with me. They’d sit me down in a room after school, when all the students had gone home and told my parents in a nice way that there was something wrong with me. I felt like I was failing in life for the first time. Why does Forrest Gump come to mind? I don’t think he felt like he failed though. I may have not been the best academic achiever in school but I saw some pretty incredible things outside of that gated community. I lived on another planet and I knew it. I was always the odd man out in class groups. I had to be put into a group almost every time. It hurt but I continued to be my own man, or teenager to be temporally correct. I didn’t have a lot of friends. My dad was my best friend and the only one who didn’t seem to make me uncomfortable. I spent the majority of the afternoon, after school, listening to him and laugh. He and I shared a bond that couldn’t be broken. My dad never pushed me into any kind of direction. He let me float. I’m glad he did. Whenever I’d get home from a miserable day at school during my early teen years, I’d tell him about some shitty classmate and his response was, “Codah, there are two types of people in this world: Assholes and Not-Assholes.” I’d laugh and then give him a hug. The sting of that day’s walk would disappear. I still remember that very quote to this day. I now laugh whenever I find a person in disagreement with me. Often, late at night, I’d watch my father venture down the sidewalk of our neighborhood and pass all the cicada’s who made that loud, shriek in the early hours of the night. He’d take time for himself and breathe for his sanity. I knew I must have gotten on his nerves every once and a while. One day, I spent about 20 minutes asking him what his middle name was on the way home from the airport. I was a little bit of a hard kid to handle at times. But I knew once he came back he’d be ready to sit close by my side and enjoy some good ole’ television. I was his best friend and he mine.
My dad’s laugh was something I believe we all must try to learn. It was loud and rang through the room. It echoed often. It was heroic in nature and never went away quietly. I didn’t back down without a fight with silence. It shook fragility into a coma and scared the shit out of you if you weren’t ready. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard, laughter without barriers. If there was a funny moment in life or in a movie, you’d know my dad was there. I to this day, laugh like there is no tomorrow, even in the absence of people. Life’s short and on that, I try extend it with a hearty laugh.
My dad was well liked around the neighborhood and outside of it. I’d watch from some window in the house, high, low, dusty or clear, bedroom or other room window, whichever kind of window I’d watch from, I could see my dad entertained people. He entertained my friend’s parents, his friends, his girlfriends, my mom even after a Hell-bound divorce (They remained in love up until his last day, as a living person that is), and other local doodad’s. He was a man of well-deserve company. I studied him and pleasured in watching him entertain people. It made me feel happy, much more than reading a book or painting. He was a good man. I’d walk back downstairs at some point and watch a show. By the time it was over, I’d go back to the window. He’d still be out on the driveway talking away. My dad still had a job where he spent hours on his feet, standing in place, but he loved that job. He loved people. He loved their smiles and talk. The sun was often the annoying bitch that disturbed this beautiful scene. He’d come back inside and smile. I loved him so much. We all must care for people. If we show we care, we enlighten someone’s life. We bring light back in. Another lesson, I’ve tried to carry. I’ll try to do that without a driveway.
I remember the drive’s to and from school with my dad. He was energetic and learned to enjoy the morning, maybe that wasn’t learned. I don’t think my dad could learn to love morning as such as this. It was intense. He was loud and happy, extremely proud to be awake at such an early hour in the day. He’d blast the radio and dance back and forth in his seat, while I was still trying to wake up. I’d mostly get irritated and ask him to drive faster to school while he drove 35 in a 45. People behind him, would swerve into the other lane, racing around him. They’d beep to let him know they were there, even though we could tell with their lightning speed drive-by. That’s probably a good way to wake up for the assholes. They’d then show their affection for his slower type of driving, by sticking up their middle finger. I’d look over at my dad with widened eyes, expecting him to flip a shit. He never did though. He found it amusing. He would laugh about it and then eventually speed up after I told him he was going under the speed limit. I now wish I wouldn’t have made those trips go by so fast. The same routine was done on the drive home from school. He’d listen to the music really loud, by this time; I was ready to join in. I’d laugh really loud while my dad laughed and pushed me almost out the door. Sometimes he had to push people to get all his laughter out. It was grand. Once we’d pulled in the drive-way, I’d open the car door and wait a few seconds. I’d feel the car begin to shake. The car was at stand-still and therefore the shaking of the car was finally felt from his propellant dancing. I’d turn around and see my dad still dancing and singing. I’d shake my head as I got out of the car and turned around five or six times before entering the house, laughing at the way my dad got into and out of a car. Now, in the age I am, I try to no matter how hard the morning may be, to find something amusing about it.
Over the past few years, life has grown harder, a lot harder. I’m in my last year of college and find myself hating school even more than I did yesterday. I’m trying to get over this bump. My dad is no longer here. He’s been in Heaven for 7 years now. My writing has slowed to a traffic jam speed. My attention span has become hazier. My idea of what I want to be is still in progress but I’m trying to discover what that might be. For now, I’ll continue to keep close to my heart what my dad taught me. I’ll try to write and find the same kind of joy I felt as a young kid. I’d use what I learned from my dad and apply it every day. I have no fear in this life. I will survive and with the ever-ready smile that I saw in my best friend, I’ll never leave this world quietly.