The Grey Men
The kid got his first stripe in BJJ recently. He was thrilled. As was I.
Him: Papa, papa, look!
Me: That’s awesome! I’m proud of you.
Didn’t vote for the first time in…dunno how long. Although, not for lack of trying. We went to two and almost three places but I wasn’t to be found.
I’m disappearing, it seems. Maybe that’s for the best.
I miss when I was a grey man and no one knew me and what I could do.
As for the boy, he’ll have secrets of his own, someday.
Had lots of plans this past weekend but everything fell through because of everything I told you. And some stuff I haven’t.
Every time I think I’m outta the woods, I find out I’m not.
Was planning on just working on cleaning up my digital life the entire weekend when I got a message from a fella that goes to my gym.
Him: Let’s try to grab a drink soon!
Me: I’m dealing with some craziness now that’s a bit hard to explain. (thinking) Oh wait, what are you doing tonight? You’re in Manhattan, yes?
Him: Yup! Let meet after I have dinner – closer to 8 works?
Told you once that no one knew that I did weapons work – for close to two decades no less – because I did it for me. It only came out because Alison died and I stopped caring and did Scenic Fights.
While I’m proud of what we do, and the fellas are great, a part of me regrets that decision. For many reasons.
In any case, this fella, we’ll call him The Frenchman, has been coming to Paxibellum’s kali class for about a year. He and his wife slip in, do their thing, and slip out.
Through Facebook, I found out that he knew Bryson and I was shocked that he’s a black belt from his school.
For those of you not in the life, that’s a really big deal. And it’s from a world-renowned academy, no less.
So, I was looking forward to finding out more about him at at my local dive bar, where he had wine and I stuck to hard seltzers and beers.
Me: You’re like me, a grey man. You have skills that you don’t talk about, I like that.
Him: (laughing) Yes. I do these things for myself, there’s no reason for anyone else to know.
Me: (nodding) Same. You’re a grappler that wants to learn weapons. I’m a weapons person that wants to learn grappling.
Him: What else do you do?
Me: (laughing) You first.
That place was much louder.
He was curious about Scenic Fights, the gym, what I do…and Alison.
Me: Sorry, I didn’t expect there to be a band playing tonight.
Him: It’s fine. Tell me about your wife.
Me: Where to begin?
Him: We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want.
Me: (shrugging) I always like talking about her. I just tend to cry when I do.
It turns out that one of his best friends also died of brain cancer. How sad and wild.
He lived a lot longer than Alison, though.
I was oddly jealous about that, which, admittedly, is a super fucked-up thing to think.
Then again, I’m pretty fucked up.
But it’s late, so I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.
Location: home, with way too much alcohol, weapons, and sweets about
Music: The rest of the world was black and white (Spotify)
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