An extraordinary weekend: Friday night out – really “out” and Saturday a lesson in acceptance: weekend enough for any man, even me. But the weekend did continue. Saturday night Carrie had her night out and I had a wonderful Daddy evening. Sunday, an impromptu family gathering and a moment standing in a circle, eight adults watching a toddler bounce like a silver ball in a pinball machine. Oh, did I mention that five of the eight were gay.
But little could I imagine what was next up on my dance card. Now I need to digress, just for a moment. It was back in December that I wrote of an episode of Cold Case, the story of two gay cops, one married and one dead, executed. Back then I wrote of the last scene:
The show always ends the same way, an image of the dead person alive again. Jimmy, an old man, a sad man walks back to their spot. There is Cooper and there is their love and then Cooper fades and Jimmy is alone.
But I left out the background music to the scene, The Byrd’s doing My Back Pages, the familiar lyric “I was so much younger then, I’m older than that now.” Haunting music for a haunted scene.
So back to this weekend, driving in the car, iPod shuffling along and the song and the lyric. One daughter listens and asks how it could be – if you are older how can you be younger? I hit pause and try to explain. Then I ask if they remember hearing the music in a TV show and they respond in unison: Cold Case.
I explain how Jimmy, though an old man at the end, was really younger as he thought about how he might have lived his life differently. With the music playing in the background, a lull in the conversation and then a voice from the rear - a soft voice, a child’s voice: “And he should have.” And in those four words I hear her: He should have lived his life differently; he should have taken his journey, where ever it may lead.
“And he should have”
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.