I want you to picture a man wearing loafers, a tall man with light skin; he wears geeky spectacles and has hair on his chin. That might as well be Mike Laria folks. On Thursday I hit up this chap to set his teeth on a fathers’ day piece. To say asante to the dads as we get to Father’s day on the weekend. I’ve thrown in a couple of mentions in the past and now he’s here with us. He hauled in his copy a few minutes to midnight on Friday. He wrote a tall one about the man with the beret, he had about a thousand typos but he has a deadly story. I plan on knocking him out and nipping his goatee because I get jealous. Here he is:
I have a bad memory. Nay, I have a terrible memory. I forget names, I forget dates and birthdays, I forget what people were wearing, I forget where I placed my keys, generally I’m forgetful. Therefore it should come as no surprise that my first memory is when I was about four years old.
My dad was taking me to school in our (his) car. A gray Toyota corolla 90. KAH 485V. (This car was later stolen by the way and if you’re the culprit responsible for this heinous act I’ll have you know, that you stole a national treasure in my eyes. I hope you enjoyed it because that is a car that deserves to be enjoyed by whoever drove it. Other than that I wish you a painful death.) Now, I had formed a bad habit of crying my lungs out every time I was dropped at school and screaming something along the lines of, “Mum usiniache!!!” Of course I was told this by my mother and therefore there’s no way to find out how true this is.
Anyway on this day, my dad decided he would be the one to drop me. He would drop me off on the way to work, so he had on his army combat clothes complete with the hat thingy, in scouts we used to call it a beret. So we pulled up to the school like bosses. Now I want you to imagine a man in the army who just happens to be six foot tall holding your hand and walking you to class. I want you to imagine the faces of the other kids when they see you, the weird kid who always cries for his mommy. I honestly think that this is still the single proudest moment of my entire life. I walked with my chest out and my head held high. I didn’t know this at the time but I would be the reigning champion of the “my dad can beat your dad” arguments.
When we reached the classroom, he crouched so we could see eye to eye and told me to have a good day. Then he gave me a high five, stood up and walked away. I stood there, at the front of the classroom taking in the moment; I studied the faces of my classmates. I looked at the faces of the guys who used to make fun of me for being the cry baby; I savored their looks of utter shock. I was no longer the mummy’s boy; I was now a warrior’s son.
Of course on the next day, my mom took me to school and I was back to being the woos.
The important thing however, is that that was the moment that I realized that my father was a man I could be proud of, that by just being there he gave me courage to face my fears and most importantly, that he made my peers jealous of me.
I have countless fond memories of my father, memories that we keep making every day. I remember him letting me sit on his lap as he drove the Toyota corolla 90 so that I could steer. (Hang your head in shame thief) I remember him letting me wear his beret, hehe, and his flying gear on my head and shout “May day!!” Like I had seen in the movies. I remember him teaching me to piss while standing because apparently my mother didn’t find it important to mention to her son that boys don’t pee while sitting on the toilet. I remember him taking me to get a haircut and imparting upon me the wise words that every man should pass on to his son that the barber shop is a sacred place and the barbers are like priests. You do not disturb him with idle chatter as he works on his canvas. (In this case my very unproportional head) you simply tell him what you want as you walk in and pay him as you walk out. And of course, the sacred rule, if the spirit doesn’t sting, it’s probably water and you should never set foot in that place again because if they are capable of breaking the sanctity of the spirit, even murder is not beyond them.
With the years I have come to think of my father every time I see some inanimate objects like newspapers, every time I watch Aljazeera, every time I smell Nivea men aftershave, every time I drive past Mucheke’s which happens to be a pub tucked safely away in the collar of Kahawa Sukari where the old man spends many an evening on the tiles.
Do not get me wrong, the man is no angel, he has his flaws. Biggest of which is pointing out my flaws. He just loves to correct me, which really gets on my nerves. But I prefer our verbal our arguments to our physical ones when I was younger. Remember earlier when said I’m forgetful? Yeah, this used to cost me dearly when I was younger. I used to lose all my sweaters within a week of them being bought. What can I say? Thug life. One day, my dad got tired of it and decided to teach me a valuable ka lesson. He sent me to fetch a stick, which might I just say, (insert Trevor Noah voice), is just damn heartless. Then he worked on me mercilessly, let’s just say my sitting posture has never been the same. But my sweater-losing escapades ended there, so much for thug life.
All in all I love my dad. He’s the coolest guy ever and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone in the world. (What does that saying even mean? Is not trading your dad for anything an achievement? Should not wanting to trade your dad be celebrated?) Anyway bottom line, he’s the best. Hats off to all the dads in the world, alive or late. Let’s celebrate the dads this month.
His blog: mikelaria7.wordpress.com