If I had to choose a phrase to describe my life until now, "Sorry buddy" would be the top contender.
Of course, those words were spoken by my father. Over and over again. The same guy who spilled paint all over himself and exposed himself in public and even rode a bronco during a funeral also had a singular talent for inadvertently maiming, smashing or otherwise incapacitating me. There were the times he backed up the car while I was only halfway inside. The times he closed the trunk/door/oven on my fingers. The times whacked me with a fishing rod/ladder/two-by-four.
Each of these occasions was followed by a, "sorry buddy."
One time we had far too many people staying in our house for some reason, so I ended up sleeping on a mattress on the floor downstairs. Dad came through on his way to the laundry room and before I could shout, "No!" he stepped on my head. He stopped and looked down, just as I looked up. All I saw through the stars and tears was an expanse of blue underwear above my head. High comedy.
I think the best "sorry buddy" moment ever happened while we were finishing the basement. We were nailing up runners for the suspended ceiling, so dad was standing on a small stepladder. I stood behind the ladder and handed him tools and nails. We had a whole surgeon and medical team thing going on. He'd say, "nail" or "hammer" and I'd hand it to him. Eventually he stopped looking and just reached behind himself, knowing I'd be holding out the appropriate item. This worked well for a while, until he got confused.
I was standing behind him on the right. He thought I was standing behind him on the left. He reached for a clip with his left hand and threw the hammer down with his right. The arc of his throw put the hammer head squarely between my eyes.
There was a terrible ghastly noise in my head. When the noise stopped I realized I was lying on my back, on the floor. Dad looked around and saw me, realized what he'd done and said, "Oh! Sorry buddy."
Someday I'm going to have a little guy of my own. We'll be working together and I'll inadvertently injure him. He'll look up at me with tears forming in his eyes and before I can help myself, I'll turn to him and say, "sorry buddy."
Then my failure will be complete.
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