An unemployed stay at home dad who opens the paper one morning to find he is running for congress, a young man struggling to hold onto a life that is slipping away while meeting the love of his life, and a crazy old man who couldn’t care less about any of this all cross paths. These lives come gracefully together to show that we are never to old to come of age.
Life in Pieces is available on Amazon.com.
And now, from Life in Pieces:
Background: An old man tells a young man a story about when he and his wife sold their home, bought a mobile home, and attempted to live removed from modern society.
“On one particular stop to gas up, I looked over at my wife in the passenger seat of our house, staring silently out the window, and I saw her crying. In those tears, I saw the beginnings of yet another failure. I’d let my wife down in so many ways over the years, as I suppose any normal husband does, but I became insistent that I would not let it happen again. I went in and sat next to my wife, gently took her hand, and cried right alongside of her. As the traffic passed by the gas station, we watched and began suggesting to each other where people were going. The first day of the job he’d dreamed about having his entire life, I said to my wife. Taking her children out to lunch with her mother, my wife suggested. The more ideas we came up with, the more we started to smile. It very quickly became clear to us that it wasn’t that we didn’t like that world that we had once been a part of, it was that we’d never really known how to function inside of it. But now, so far removed from it that these little glimpses so overwhelmed our hearts with their quiet beauty, we realized for the first time in our lives just who we were and, more importantly, how to be those people. We realized that, after spending so long trying to be the perfect spouse, the perfect parent, the perfect employee, the perfect person, we had forgotten to love each other. Sitting in that pathetic excuse for a home, having given up everything we’d ever had in life, watching real people with real lives pass us by, we held hands and felt each other’s souls, for the very first time in our lives.
“About the same time, I got a call from the movie studio that bought my first book telling me that, while they still had no plans to shoot that movie, they wanted to buy the rights to another, lesser known of my books. Having separated myself from my work when my wife and I headed out, I willingly sold that story requesting no involvement at all in the filming, which, as far as I know, is still nowhere close to actually happening. With the money, we bought a new house, much smaller than the last one we’d owned, but perfect for us. And rather than seeking solitude in the middle of nowhere, rather than thinking of ourselves as somehow so much better than the world that we couldn’t even be a part of it, we sought separation from the world within the world. We loved watching the traffic so much that we started setting up lawn chairs and umbrellas in highway medians, freeway off ramps, or on the corners of busy roads. We said nothing to each other but one or two word suggestions about where we thought all the people we saw were going. But in those short statements we became closer to each other than we’d ever been before. Aerobics class, she said, and I knew she was worried about her weight. McDonalds, I said, and she knew I was hungry. Mother’s funeral, she’d say, and we’d both cry. Then, the movies, she day, and we’d both smile again. The more we did this, the more a love that we always wanted but never knew was actually possible began to finally show itself in a way it never could have in that disgusting mobile home – mobile home, the phrase itself is an oxymoron, isn’t it? Daughter’s wedding. Grandchild’s baptism. Family vacation. True love.[subscribe2]