As I sift through this jargon, from empty butter plate to happenstance manifesto, the requests pour in. Grace is requested in the face of absolute bafflement. My attendance is requested as the salve of familial security. I am requested to lead the untouchable perfection of an infant. There is a request that my face should always resonate with calm security, my posture should remain strict yet forthcoming, inspiring yet unassuming. And amongst the requests, a small voice asks, can you pass me the butter?
There is nothing failsafe in this map of directions. There are no completed trails. But now, there is a child that rides with me through undiscovered neighborhoods. One day we find Memphis. On another, we find the road to nowhere. I'm in for it all. Anything. Everything from the strictest hymn to the whispering in the background of an alt-electronica impulse act. I'm present for the Grateful and the Gothic. I'm on the smile with any mystery. Even the unsolvable, impenetrable cases that offer only the clues that wave and wink as I fall asleep. I'm up for any vast adventure, even the flirtations of an empty adventure that refuses to make eye contact, but continues to leave messages on your refrigerator. They remind of the ultimate adventure, a small handwritten note, that states, can you pick up some butter?
I can't claim wisdom, grace, peace, omnipotence, hypnotic presence, calm fatherhood, ghosthood, mirth, apathy, inconsolable bafflement, intelligence, worthiness, saintliness, greed, an altruistic nature, innocence, a violent nature, or anything left to hold with a look of pride or desecration. I just can't claim anything. And so I walk through the supermarket. I walk toward a general guess at my best qualities. I walk with a confessional cloud of confused intent. A gentle mist of intent, made up of individual droplets of best familial guess. I have a notecard in my fingers. It says, "Don't forget to pick up the butter."