The Charlie Bravo Story

The Dog Days of Summer

The sun also rises on another long hot summer day, and it looks like a dog bomb has been detonated on the battleground, er, bed, at the Casa del Whackos. Whereas when I was trying to sleep earlier while the the Battle of Bitey Mouth was being waged all around me, now that it’s time to start the day, the dogs have all assumed full crash positions, appearing as skydivers that somehow forgot to pack their parachutes properly. They are all sprawled out in impossibly comfortable positions, the only sign of life is the occasional thump of Charlie’s tail as she chases Stevie through her dreams.

Motivation is hard to find without a definite destination on the horizon. Life sometimes seems to be a constant cycle of “hurry up and wait”, periods of relative calm that borders on boredom punctuated by exclamation points of frenetic activity, then the cycle repeats itself.

The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come, and you’ll survive them as well, and if you’re lucky, you’ll eventually have lots of scars from lots of shipwrecks, a tapestry of tattoos serving as a testimony to a life lived to the fullest.

I recently saw a musician play, a hard core, rawboned throwback to a different era when scarred knuckles were a badge of honor. His music was as full of grit and fire as that of an old time Pentecostal preacher, but it was the total honesty of his comments between the songs that impressed me as much or more than the songs themselves. One example that blew me away to the point that I had to write it down:

“I’m in this period of self loathing where I hate to hear myself speak because I know I’m betraying myself to you”

I totally get it; even though we were never especially close due to being light-years apart, personality-wise, the decline and death of my dad has somehow put the brakes on some parts of my life while causing me to want to mash on the accelerator concerning others. It has made me even more aware of the impact of Charlie’s message and the importance of honesty and full disclosure, no matter how uncomfortable it may sometimes be. We are only allotted so many breaths in this lifetime; it’s a shame to waste even one on negativity and deceit.

As the book is finished and we move on to the next unknown leg of the journey, I remain committed to the original message: that we all exist in our own crates, and the best way to escape our own is to first help others escape theirs. This in no way discounts or excludes the existence of a Power higher than our own, but that power is shared with each of us to use, not abuse, and I believe that we are being held accountable should we choose not to use our talents based on what others expect of us.

That’s enough for now; Charlie is giving me “The Look”; we be of one blood, ye and I.

Dad out.

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