I’ve had two glasses of wine, which allows me to talk without filters and use this blog for exactly what I didn’t mean to use it for.
I have this uncle I haven’t talked to in a long time, because I thought I’d have more time. Which it turns out I don’t.
He’s one of the first really, really funny people I ever knew. He’s got a dark, sarcastic sense of humor that never crosses over into mean-spiritedness. (OK. Maybe a little. But only when truly called for.) When I was little, I called him “Fish” because he reminded me of Abe Vigoda—which means Mr. Vigoda’s appearances on Conan have a specially, completely different meaning to me.
Of my mom’s four brothers, he’s apparently the most like the grandfather I never met—and would apparently have had wrapped around my finger, mostly because tall, bald dudes with darkly sarcastic senses of humor did not freak me out when I was little. (Probably because I didn’t get it.)
We spent lots of time at his house. In the basement/playroom, shooting hoops (badly, badly, badly) on his patio, sitting on the fireplace in the den, on the sunporch. Of all the uncles, it’s just his house that I know the way around.
He gave me shit before I knew what that meant. And was one of the people who taught me to give it back. Considering the fact that this sort of playful antagonism defines a great majority of my relationships, that’s a pretty big gift.