Once every blue moon, or once every decade, or so, whichever comes first, I meet someone that really makes me reevaluate the way I see things.
Back in 1996, when my daughter was two years old I took her to Burger King on Reseda Blvd and Vanowen Ave in Reseda. It’s not there anymore, I think it’s a Starbucks or a Jack in the Box . . . isn’t everything a Starbucks?
Anyway, she was two, she needed to eat, and play and this particular Burger King had a massive outdoor play area, so we went. She nibbled for a bit, and when she was finished, she was ready to hit the playground.
Now, any of you that have kids know that one of the worst things about taking your kids to play at parks, playgrounds, or the mall, is the piece-of-shit kids that hang around these places for the sole purpose of fucking with your kids. Complete lack of love and attention has turned these future OZ inmates into complete sociopaths. So, while their massively obese parents sit over to the side, messing with their cell phones, and sweating gravy, you are forced to discipline their degenerate wastes of sperm.
Well, now that I got that out of the way . . . here’s what happened. We walk outside, there is an eight-year-old boy hiding underneath the slide, a three or four-year-old boy comes sliding down, the eight-year-old grabs the kid from the bottom of the slide, and throws him to the ground. I look around, and there is only one other parent out in the play area. So, I ask him nicely, “Is this your fucking kid.” While asking him I couldn’t help but notice how much he looked like Moby. Anyway, he shakes his head, and says” “No.” The kid that was thrown to the ground was his. So, I say: “Whose kid is he?” Moby just shrugs.
So, my daughter headed to the top of the playground’s tunnels and was about to come down the slide. Right, then I saw the eight-year-old excrement position himself under the slide so that he could tackle my little girl. Well, I wasn’t going to allow that. So, I get up, walk over, and lift him up by the back of his collar, walk into the Burger King, and say, “Who does this little fucker belong to?” Not a freaking sound. If this was a movie, all you would hear would be crickets. Nobody looks up, and nobody speaks. I put the kid down, he runs screaming, and I go back out. My daughter and the other kid are running through the tunnels, sliding, laughing, and having a great time.
I sit down, and then Moby asks me what I do for a living, I tell him I’m a graphic designer, and then ask him the same question. He says, “This.” I ask him to explain. He says, “Watch my kid live, and have fun.” So, I think to myself, I just got finished getting rid of some a-hole kid, and now I have to deal with this whack-job.
Then, he starts his story; turns out he was a big time lawyer, with no time for his family. He was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. He quit his job, bought a guitar, taught himself to play, and just started enjoying life for the first time since he was a kid.
As we spoke, he said he beat cancer, and in a few weeks he was going to do a solo gig at a bar on Ventura Blvd. I wished him luck and thought about this guy often over the years.
– Last One To Die, 2011