It is 9:00 am on a hot summer’s morning. The thermometer already reads close to 80 degrees and the sun has barely cleared the tall tree in my backyard. I am in my bed trying to steal back the 90 minutes I lost delivering the morning paper.
It is the last few weeks before my sophomore year in high school and I cherish lazy. Besides my morning paper route, I don’t plan to do anything productive until school begins.
Between dreams and fantasies of how lazy I will be today, a dull sound interrupts my thoughts. I hide behind another quick dream only to be pestered by the same dull sound that is getting louder. Wrestling with my eye lids, I lose. The sound forces my eye lids and ears open. The sound is clearer now; it is a horn, a loud horn.
The horn stops. Relief washes over me and I begin to court another dream. The dream is chanced away by someone screaming my name. Then the horn sounds again. Anger rolls me over to look out my window.
In front of my house, on our quiet narrow street, is a big yellow school bus. Behind the wheel is Father Pat, the high school cross country coach. He refuses to accept I don’t want to participate. Along with his vows of poverty and celibacy I am convinced he has taken a vow to annoy me to my grave.
He is committed and past experience has shown me, he will not go away until I am on the bus and headed to practice. My body rolls out of bed and on to the floor. I grab the closest attire off the floor and pour my body down the stairs. I step out the front door to make the horn and yelling stop.
Father Pat, the insane white-haired priest, sees something in me I refuse to look for: potential. He will not let me rest until it is unearthed.
The woman I married has the same vision defect Father Pat had. She is able to look at me and see the person I was created to be. She sees this man I wouldn’t recognize if I walked by him. She sees and always has seen past my insecurities, past my doubts, and past my fears. She sees beyond my own garbage to a brighter, better me.
Lately, I started borrowing her glasses and like what she sees.