Self-Reflection, Cheerleaders and Naughty Baked Goods.

As my fingers bounce around the keyboard it is eight am in the morning in Niagara Falls.

It is also Saturday morning and that means the lobby’s voids are quickly filling with travelers. There are families, wannabe jocks in over-sized jerseys, young tramps, cheerleaders, actual jocks, and miscellaneous miscreants of all shapes, sizes and ideologies.

The Hook is home.

So why do I feel totally disconnected from the world?

I worked eleven hours yesterday and I spent every one of them waiting.

Waiting to feel at ease in my uniform, behind my desk, or wheeling my cart around the hotel’s labyrinth of corridors and rooms. I waited to feel at ease being a lovable smart-ass bellman who puts guests in their place while pocketing coins and bits of paper. I waited… to feel.

But I never did.

Never fear, friends, I have no plans to chuck my life for a shack on a secluded beach somewhere, where The Hook will spend his days as that “crazy white devil” who terrorizes and amuses the local population. Though, that would be cool for awhile. No, I just want to feel like myself, the man I was a month ago.

But that man may have died as he watched the greatest man he ever knew take his last breaths before departing this world for whatever remains. In many ways, I’m still in that room, listening to the constant hiss of pure oxygen emitting from a loose port in the cracked, drab wall, under the dull glow of hospital lighting.

The ward was so quiet that night you could almost feel a wave of calm wash over you. The silence was occasionally broken by alarms and the presence of security personnel racing to avoid potential disasters, but otherwise, it fell to my brother-in-law, his cousin and myself to fill the room with conversations of better days when dad was strong and vital. And so we did. There was laughter. (I almost fell off my chair at one point. God knows what the nurses thought.) There was nostalgia. There was regret. And of course, there were tears.

But not enough tears in my estimation. I didn’t break down that night. Nor did I at the funeral. I’m waiting for the dam to burst but I cannot reach my grief and yank it out.

So be it.

I’ll continue to move forward, taking solace in my wife, daughter, colleagues and friends, both virtual and “real” – whatever that word even means these days. Here then, are a few tidbits of guest nuttiness I have been fortunate enough to overhear this week.

1)  “I’m from Quebec City; my English is still sleeping this morning! Help me!”

2)  “I’m never dating a banker again! He kept wanting to make a “deposit” in my ‘rear safety deposit box'”!

My response to that particular nugget?

“As long as he doesn’t make a series of ‘early withdrawals’, you’ll be fine.”

Nice to know I still have it. Let’s continue, shall we?

3)  “I don’t want a bellman to help me! I’m an accountant!”

4)  “My friend and I have a giant penis cake. Can you take it?”

Naturally, my initial response was silence – which seemed to last forever. Luckily, I quickly realized the young ladies wanted me to store their ginormous confectionery member while they waited for their room to be ready. And so I did. Of course, I made sure I wheeled it through the lobby, past the throngs of cheerleaders, blue-haired old ladies and snobby corporate drones.

Maybe I am back after all.

See you in the lobby, kids….

UPDATE:  Read this tweet and be amazed. Watch this video and be enthralled. That is all.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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30 Responses to Self-Reflection, Cheerleaders and Naughty Baked Goods.

  1. Paul says:

    Hang in there Hook.

  2. 1jaded1 says:

    Nearly fell off my chair laughing at your second tale. Hugs to you…from virtual/real me.

  3. Austin says:

    Welcome back. Are you ready for the Lightning Round?

  4. Pamela Edwards says:

    Always makes me glad to see a new blog from you Hook . I know where you are for I was there once too after losing my Mama , the feelings will come when they are ready . You just keep going Hook .

  5. Not naughty baked goods – just nice! 😉

  6. Having been in my father’s hospital room recalling similar stories as we listened for his last breathe, I sympathize, a most difficult time for all.

  7. shimoniac says:

    I sympathize with your loss, Hook. You’ll never be the same person that you were. That doesn’t mean that you won’t recover. In fact, I will venture an impertinence by saying that anyone who loves you will WANT you to recover. It will just take time, a week, a month, a year, who knows how long, to find your way into your new skin. Don’t rush it, and don’t feel pressure to be who you were. Remember: stagnation is also a kind of death.

  8. Ned's Blog says:

    I completely understand how you feel, Hook. It’s like being caught in limbo. The tears for my best friend, who passed away 12 years ago from cancer at age 30, didn’t come for weeks. When it did, it was while driving and becoming frustrated after missing my turn. I pulled over and cried for 20 minutes. It wasn’t until then that I felt “myself” again — because that part of myself had been in limbo. It will come to you, Hook. When you’re ready. Until then, keep the humor the snark and the faith. Those are also things that make you who you are. The deeper, feeling parts take a little longer to reach the surface. Kind of like a whale fart.

    Trust in the whale fart, Hook.

    And hang in there my friend 😉 *manly hug*

  9. You’ve been on my mind, my friend. a LOT! Sending you vibes and happy thoughts all while knowing that we each deal with grief in our own ways. I wish I could fix it for you, but since I can’t, I’ll keep you in my daily thoughts and prayers…pleading the 5th on whether any of those thoughts are inappropriate 😉
    (Sorry Vampire Lover! Just doing my part to help cheer your man up!)

  10. Sally says:

    You will find your way back to you. I still have a little cry from time to time thinking about my Dad. And it’s been years now. But you’ll be back. And until then, please keep reporting those funny, funny snippets of overheard conversation.

  11. Jami says:

    I am sorry for the loss of your father, Hook. I can’t yet imagine what it really feels like to lose a parent, but I can imagine how surreal it must feel….

    Great to read a post from you this morning. 🙂 Hang in there, you crazy white devil.

  12. It is always hard to lose someone you love….. there is an undeniable void. I’m so sorry you lost your father-in-law and “VL” lost her dad! It hasn’t been a terribly long time since we have lost those in our family. It will get easier, but it’s gonna hurt for a while. So glad you have something that makes you appreciate life in a unique way Robert… Being a bellman has it’s perks! 😉

  13. julie says:

    It is a sucky situation that we all have to deal with in some form Hook. I get it. It’s been 22 days since a friend of mine left. Before that I saw him every day for the previous 3 months. His family didn’t. They wouldn’t visit him, wouldn’t speak to him. blocked him on facebook, blocked his calls. They all turned their backs on him. I was there, every day. We laughed. we talked. I got to tell him I loved him every day, and hug him. I am so angry at the family members involved. It is good that I really don’t need to be involved with them any longer. Oh wait. I wasn’t. I was taking care of their father, they weren’t there. Yeah. I am dealing with the fresh wound again too, and not sure how much grief I should feel or show. It was easier when it was my own parents, I felt entitled to fall apart.

  14. curvyroads says:

    My heart hurts for you, Robert. I can only hope time helps heal you.

    And I LOVED that you stored the young ladies’ ginormous member. 😀

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