“Define a lot of coffee . . . ,” I said, knowing that my caffeine consumption would probably make Juan Valdez pack up his donkey and run for the hills of Colombia. I was almost embarrassed to admit the amount of coffee I would drink in one day, for fear that he would 5150 me and send me off in a straitjacket to the nearest Caffeine Anonymous meeting. I had recently come to terms with this addiction, realizing that maybe five pots of coffee a day was slightly overdoing it, but I hadn’t accepted the dire consequences until now. Unfortunately, I’m THAT guy. Give me one, I want ten. There is a reason why I still to this day have never done cocaine, because deep down I know that if I did coke the same way I drink coffee, I’d be sucking dicks at the bus stop every morning for an eight ball.
I was driving Harper to school and she asked, “Dad, what’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on?” I smiled and said, “Well . . . remember that time I came home for one night to take you to your first daddy-daughter dance?” She nodded. “That was about twenty hours in the air,” I said. She looked at me like I was crazy. “Twenty hours??? You didn’t have to do that!!!”
We smiled at each other, and after a long pause, she turned to me and said, “Actually . . . yes you did.”
Violet was devastated by the news that her friends would not join her for the show. As we sat on the couch together and I watched the tears roll down her cherubic little face, the protective father in me kicked in. “Hey, what if you and I perform ‘Blackbird’ together? I’ll play guitar and you sing!” She looked up and wiped her face, and her expression instantly changed as she nodded excitedly with a relieved smile. I ran to fetch my guitar, sat down before her, and began to play the song. Without even a moment of rehearsal or lyric sheet to refer to, she came in on time, in tune, and we played it together perfectly, first try. It was beautiful. I would say that I was surprised, but I wasn’t. I knew that she could do it. But . . . could I? We high-fived and made a plan: we would rehearse every morning before school and every night before bed until the gig, ensuring that we’d be more than ready by the time we hit the stage.