Gloomy Friday Afternoon


The sounds of rush hour traf­fic splash­ing through the rain mixed with gen­tle rum­blings of a storm that has since passed over fill the room as my wife tries to feed Ben­jamin. In actu­al­ity, Ben­jamin is try­ing to feed him­self. He’s not coör­di­nated enough to hold the bot­tle; but that lit­tle detail doesn’t deter him from trying.

Deter­mi­na­tion. I know his mother has it, but he had to have got­ten it from me. Deter­mi­na­tion to do some­thing that may be just beyond your abil­i­ties and skills set runs in the Dixon blood­line. It’s why I always went after the girls I knew I couldn’t get. It’s why I chal­lenge peo­ple I’m likely not able to defeat. It’s why I take on more than I likely can han­dle. But really, is that determination?

Maybe it’s insan­ity or a mild case of delu­sions of grandeur. Maybe it’s me set­ting myself up for con­stant failure–a life­time of dis­ap­point­ment. Maybe I shouldn’t allow this Dixon trait to plague me as it did my father who was opti­mistic until his dying breath–and even then I bet he tried beat the odds.

The alter­na­tive is never try­ing because the odds are against us. As osten­si­bly depress­ing as this option appears there is a com­fort in rest­ing in what is certain–never hav­ing to worry if you will suc­ceed because you only attempt what is guaranteed.

Com­fort. Com­fort is where I am now. My bed on a gloomy Fri­day after­noon presents a moment of repose that I rarely get; and although the peace­ful sounds of the rain­drops drip­ping on the con­crete beck­ons me to rest from my usual chaotic and bor­der­line insane drive my deter­mi­na­tion dri­ves me yet again to try what is unlikely and improb­a­ble. And while the sun is wrestling to come from behind the storm clouds I wres­tle with com­fort of com­pla­cency and the pain of persistence.

But there is obvi­ously only one answer here. Just as Ben­jamin will keep strug­gling with the bot­tle until he can hold it him­self, and as the sun will keep fight­ing until it breaks through from the clouds, I will for­ever be per­sis­tent, even though it strips me from ever hav­ing the peace that you find on a gloomy Fri­day afternoon.

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