Boxcar Dust.

by Serge Bielanko

If you don't particularly love babies or hearing about one then I could see where the whole Thunder Pie thing could get old fast. But, honestly I can't help it. Everything I once was or knew or pretended to know got dropped into a puddle of baby drool. When I picked it all back up: it wouldn't wipe off.

Not that I want it to. But all the rock/roll stories, all my real serious portrayals of down and out and blue, all the tales I planned to tell one day before it gets too late...they all got slipped under the bed with the dust for awhile. You get the kid into the house or the apartment for the first time and like a preacher high on good sermon, you stand at the door and shake hands/say goodbye to Mr and Mrs FreeTime, The Widow SexLife, dear old Mrs WildFridays, and the good CountryDoctor with the deep pockets of herbs and brandy. (I just have been needing to say Country Doctor, that's what that last one is all about. I've been watching FROM LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD on PBS). A moment of small talk, a hunk of squid handshake, and they're out the damn door with a bewildered puzzle on their sheltered faces. All they known is me, so now they're just as lost...staggering into telephone poles and wandering out into traffic.

Me? I miss them. And they weren't anything great to begin with. If you know me that's probably what you're saying to yourself just now. Damn, Serge: don't flatter yourself. It'd been a long time since anyone's seen you swinging from the Tiffany lamp down at the saloon! And you weren't exactly running out of moves in the bedroom when the wife showed up with one in the oven, eh? The truth is, Serge, if it weren't for the kiddo you very well might have found yourself in the parking lot of some Sheraton some rainy Sunday morning, staring at the marquee through the drizzle rolling down the windshield. ROCKY MOUNTAIN BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA CONVENTION AND SYMPOSIUM. You were not doing all that much, man. Seriously.

I know, I know. And thanks for the stingy reminder.I know all that. But the thing is: whenever something changes so much you try and change with it, out of the need for adaptive survival skills, right? Right. The last few years I have changed or been forced to change a lot. Loss of home/new home. Loss of friends/new friends/no friends. Loss of passion/YouPorn. Loss of Rockness/there is no new Rockness. Well maybe I could put Loss of Rockness/weekly paycheck! My point is this. I sort of suddenly have a precious baby girl who I want to raise to know my guts and my heart and my mind for what it is...or has been for a very very long time. A life influenced by music and mountains and books and cities and beers with people I onced loved and conversations in the corner of a smoky backstage room around a campfire of picked-over lunch meats and flung-about celery sticks.

If I adapt too much, get towed too far by the Tide of Super Change...I will be a different man. Violet will hear a different voice. My stories might get told differently than they should. If a hobo has a baby...that baby needs to be part Hobo. It might not be all cupcakes and lambs all the goddamn time, but it needs to happen.

Here, stick some of this boxcar dust up yer midget nose. Smell my life darling.

I need to tell you that you come from me and all my horrific misfortune and all my lucky pennies and I wouldn't want you to ever forget that I loved you more than the sun loves the sky if I ever wasn't here to tell ya' that, my sweet little peanut butter cup.