She Waits Up for Him

I’m often wrong, almost comically so, yet I fear we face a sci-fi future, of Marvel movies and electronica music made for STEM grads who don’t know Lead Belly from Longfellow, whose hearts are caked in an oily digital sludge, not “the murmurs of pleasures and pains and wrongs.”

That’s Longfellow, by the way. But you knew that.

Look, far be it from me to set the future course of America’s youth. I can’t even find my bottle opener.

And I struggle with many of the same issues you do. I can never spot the egg in egg rolls. Like many men of a certain age, I still have complicated, unresolved feelings for Carly Simon and Lola Falana. I can’t get my printer to print.

I’m convinced sports is going to hell in a handmaid’s basket. Sure, fans have been saying that for decades; this time it’s actually true.

I don’t like these hasty Pac-12 exits, not at all, or shifting alliances of any kind – that’s how world wars begin.

And I don’t like when players jump ship. Curt Flood is considered a hero for his pioneering work on free agency. Minority position: Free agency is a disaster.

Since free agency, all teams are temporary. Even high school and college players are now jumping ship, betraying allegiances, letting down their teammates and fans with their own selfish agendas. From 5th grade up, every player is looking for a better coach, an NIL deal, TV exposure, someplace they are really appreciated. A place that, in most cases, doesn’t actually exist.

That’s the world we live in. And now all these horrible Marvel movies, this tinny EDM made by machinists…

I saw that Natalie Portman is in the latest Marvel sequel, “Thor,” and I thought how excruciating that must’ve been for her, every moment, every line, for this talented and accomplished young actress. I wonder: “Did she turn to tequila to get through it? Did she consult a priest?

Did Portman have her agent on speed dial, and every afternoon, ring him up and scream till she passed out? Did she cry to her mama – “Mama, I’m soooooo soooooo sorry! You raised me better!”

Yes, I suppose all of those.

We live in a world where money means everything, and promises are made to be broken, and movie stars are shameless sellouts, and shortstops betray their teams and fans over a contract year here, a million bucks there. Can you really blame them?

Loyalty is so overrated. Teammates are temps. Integrity is such a joke — I never cared for it much myself.

In that vein, I tried to trade my son, Smartacus, the other day. I hated to do it. He’s been a good son, a great son really, as devoted and cheerful as any parent could ever hope. I love him so much. The other day, he even rinsed his dish.

Yet, you can’t rest on past accomplishments. As a father, I cannot just wait around on the chance Smartacus might one day make his own bed. You have to move forward.

If you’re interested in signing my son, here’s his profile: A dreamer and a doer (Sagittarius). Bats right, throws right. Sneaks occasional beers from the fridge on weekends when he thinks I don’t notice. Once put gas in the car. Capable of washing his own clothes but usually doesn’t. Remembers people’s names at parties, tells a decent joke. Likes breakfast burritos and long walks on the beach.

Anyone? Going once, going twice…

We hope to place him with a good family. The important thing is that he gets a fresh start.

Smartacus is looking for a better dad, an NIL deal, TV exposure, someplace where he is really appreciated. A place that might not actually exist.

He comes with a thousand Dodger t-shirts and a dog that might be a wolf. This wolf/dog is not much of a pet, to be honest. But White Fang waits up for Smartacus to come home at night, right by the front door, a hopeless romantic, a character out of Cervantes.

When White Fang hears his car, her whole body starts to quiver, tongue to tail.

That’s loyalty you can’t buy, the kind we don’t see much of anymore, a Technicolor joy.

Get it while you can.

Have a terrific weekend. Take a walk, do something nice for someone, especially yourself. Shun that dated Puritan ethos that to suffer is good. Meanwhile, a book is always a thoughtful gesture. For books, hikes, gin glasses and past columns, please go to ChrisErskineLA.com. Love you guys. Cheers!

12 thoughts on “She Waits Up for Him

  1. The Smartacus-White Fang package sounds like a bargain. We’ll take them both. And thanks for the Lola Falana throwback. It makes me smile whenever you casually throw out a (somewhat) obscure pop culture reference from my youth. I wonder if men will be speaking of Natalie Portman with equal fondness years from now…Nah.

  2. And once again, after reading your posts, I find myself thinking, “Man, this guy can really write!”… not a book critic here, just someone who has always been a voracious reader!

  3. “And, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time.” – Longfellow but you knew that too. Hmm, are you interested in a trade? 19 and 21 year-old girls? Maybe like one of those TV shows where people live in each other’s homes for a week. Both are hard workers, smart, sweet, beautiful, funny, load the dishwasher, get most of their facts from Tik Tok. But the deal might be off as there’s no dad here…just me as mom and dad. (Combine them and you get “mad” or “dom” but more likely mad lol) They would love a week in sunny LA! But then I need them back. Just one week 🤣 Let me know!

  4. Loyalty? Integrity? As a lifetime UCLA Bruin Fan, I believe I’ve finally had it! Big 10, NIL Transfer Portal etc etc. Me & my buddies gave up our 50 year plus family football season tickets a few years ago, the long climb to our seats (old age) contributed to our decision. But we were fed up with millionaire coaches and discounted school
    spirit replaced with greed and selfishness.
    It ain’t got no better!

  5. Spartacus and White Fang will be welcomed here, we have a spare room and love dogs. You, may visit anytime too. Thanks for the laughs this morning.

  6. No one loves life more. And now…another beautiful Summer weekend in a lyric run of days curated by heaven. To be out in it, on beach or hill or on the town is your amorous duty, and at the end of the day you must contemplate the rouge celebration of the passions of the daylight with the eye of a lover, libation in hand, the rapture of the days experience burning in the light going down, settling in your mind, How could things be more deeply pleasurable—in the midst of chaos and ever ominous melee—than now, in this brace of days glowing under the stars. Son and the night and the delicious darkness, and—yes—those stars, and the new girl…so bewildering. One must write about it.

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