I Am Pop Thorndale

I am mad about five things today:
the size of my belly,
its shape,
these new freckles on my feet,
my inability to walk long distances,
and the way my FedEx guy leaves my packages in plain view.

I’ve been Pop
since I was a young boy.
Pop, short for Poppa, I suppose.
Because mine was a bastard and rarely around.

These pages in your hands make up my memoir.
Memoir is just memory
with a little switch of letters.

That’s how this book got started,
this mad desire to chronicle the things
that have happened.

My wife.
My only son, Grease,
misunderstood and beautiful.

A staggering memoir.
Heavy enough to conk a cockroach,
but light enough to carry with a beach chair
and the last four bottles of Amstel Light.

This is not the opening I had in mind.
I begin today in a panic.
My previous beginning, my salvo,
my mesmerizing opening shot has been lost.

12 brilliant entries in a weblog.
12 riveting treatises about why I’m mad about the world, etc.
But I did not bookmark it, so it’s gone forever.

I start again here.
My life up until this has been modest.
I have wandered personally and professionally.
I’ve been a genial companion along life’s road to Judith.
I’m a father who might have made errors with my son.

I’ve not left a mark here or anywhere else.
My hair is thin.

I have at times been kind to old dogs,
patted the heads of dimwit children.
But I have no trophies to show you.

I have never sat down with Matt Lauer or Chris Matthews.
I have lived marginally and happily.
But then these things happened.

It’s as if after spending a lifetime
wandering an endless and disappearing beach,
discovering my name on a note
in a bottle in the sand.

I have made sense of these things.
I am writing it down for you tonight.
I am Pop Thorndale, no great man.

Pfefferle, W.T. The Meager Life and Modest Times of Pop Thorndale. Rochester Hills (MI): NFSPS Press, 2007.