Riding Uptown. Solo.

New York City, United States - May 12, 2012: Heavy traffic on busy 8th Avenue in Ney York City, USA in morning. Vast number of vehicles hit the streets and avenues of Manhattan every day. Almost half of cars are yellow taxis (well recognized city icon). Taxis are operated by private companies, licensed by the NYC Taxi Commission.

May 28th. Days short of June, yet solar heaters are blowing. 84° F, and steamy.

Sidewalks are teeming with tourists.

Mid afternoon Manhattan traffic is locked bumper to bumper, snaking up Sixth Avenue.

I skipped breakfast, had a meager lunch, and I’m longing for a sugar fix. Chocolate. Now.

Waze estimates 25  min to get uptown to the office.

My Thumbs are on the keyboard.

Should it be ‘Hi’ or ‘Hi!’?  I’m not feeling ‘Hi!’ I’m not a ‘Hi!’ type. I’m more like a “Hello” or a “Hi” guy. Or maybe it’s ‘hi’.  “hi’ makes me approachable, less prickly.  Yet, it’s hard to alter the brand, callus layered on callus. ‘Hi!’ would be inauthentic or soft, and both just won’t do. Dad’s the tough guy. There’s an image to uphold. A Brand to burnish.

DK: hi
RK: Hi!

Would have preferred ‘Hi Daddy!’ But ! is good. She’s happy to hear from me.

DK: I’ll be in your building in 30 min. I’ll buy you coffee.  Me, a warm chocolate chip cookie.
RK: Can’t Dad. I’m in the middle of something.

Dad‘. An automatic softener on contact. Bloody Chapin song streams into consciousness. Hate the song.  ‘Child arrived just the other day. He She came to the world in the usual way…’

DK: You can carve out 10 min.
RK: Sorry. I’m leading the troops on a big project.

What troops? No one reports to her.  ‘But there were planes to catch and there were bills to pay. He She learned to walk while I was away…He’d She’d say, “I’m gonna be like you, dad. You know, I’m gonna be like you”

DK: OK, what train are you taking home. Let’s ride together.
RK: I won’t be leaving until after 8pm. Best you leave without me.

Chapin pouring it on now.  ‘When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know whenWe’ll get together then, son,honey, you know we’ll have a good time then’

DK: 5 minutes Honey. Come on. 

I wait, and wait, and wait for a response to my text.  Nothing.
I set the phone down.
And then pick it up again. Nothing.
Set it down. Wait. And pick it up again.


I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He She said, “I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time”
“You see, my new job’s a hassle and the kid’s got the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me
He’d She’d grown up just like me
My boy girl was just like me



  1. Good old Harry. He had it pegged.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s hard to alter the brand. Even for the next generation. Enjoyed reading, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh ughh. Those mirrors can be ugly at times. Love your writing, a good reminder to us all. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. a few tears welled up–yes they did……

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yea, but you are still her daddy and at least she’s not unemployed and living off your payroll…always look for te positive. (Vintage DK, BTW)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That song always makes me cry and so did your post. The hard part (among many) is not taking it personally. And if she grown up just like you, she’s gonna be just fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Rats! It’s amazing how the word “daddy” can instantly soften any rough edges in a father/daughter relationship. It works just as well with the word “mommy” and in that sense the bond is ageless. I love it when my thirty something calls me “mommy”. I called my dad “daddy” up to the day he died. “Dad” always seemed too formal.

    Simple Village above makes a good point…and vintage is always cool in my book. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  9. OneHotMess says:

    Teary… Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh how I recognize this. Wishing for the millionth time that I could roll back the clock…and yes ok I was a single mother etc,. But… but….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. OK, just took another swig of coffee to dissolve the lump that formed in my throat upon reading this. Many sage comments above, so I’ll just limit myself to ‘nailed it.’ (And I’m waiting–ever more impatiently–for DK’s book of reflections to be published. Put me down for an advance copy…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. As always, thanks for sharing a personal moment. Yea, that damn song haunts us. From Daddy to Dad to no response. Then somehow it circles back and all is well and right.
    – Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Christie says:

    Loved the personal share. Sorry Miss Rachel couldn’t join you. A chocolate chip cookie? My indulge yesterday was Swedish fish, red – the bag is now in the freezer.! It was 90 in my location..too hot for me. Bb Kiing is playing in the background ..”how lonely I’ll be” as the wild and scenic river lowing calls to me from below, I see it from the cabin 🙂 Gonna grab a pack, the sweet dog and the cameras and head out in a few minutes down the trial to the rivers edge where the clear, cool, clean water sparkles. As I ready myself, Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” (plenty of sunshine here ) plays soulfully, from the laptop with JBL speakers, as the memory of the morning doves cooing greeted my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Christie says:

    Ha, I always forget to ask the ranch owner if I am staying in “the cabin” & sleeping in the bed Johnny Depp slept in. Life does leave a smile on my face….

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s been too long since I’ve been here and read one these genuine “David” posts…you tug at a place in my heart (and I’m not even a parent)…still admire your style of sharing your personal story with a sublayer of some sort. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, David. (By the way, I’m the “HI!” type – hope I don’t lose points for that. Haven’t always been, but life seems too short to miss out on energy and excitement! ;] )

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Christie says:

    The hike was pretty, peaceful & needed. The pup and me played host to many ticks, ugh. The sun was strong wore a sun hat part of the time and even with 50 block on my face neck and chest – I still got red -but not as red as the ruby colored S. Fish. The solo journey for me was was welcomed I do like the Harry Chapin song and it is somewhat universal of life and its responsibilities cutting into family time. .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Christie says:

    The shade provided by the ancient Oaks & Maples outstretched leaf covered arms was welcomed. Observed several varieties of solitary butterflies.-I like the Harry Chapin song. Ekk, just felt another tick crawling, confirmed, grabbed a tissue to trap it and then flushed it away..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ow. harry really knew of what he wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “Should it be ‘Hi’ or ‘Hi!’? I’m not feeling ‘Hi!’ I’m not a ‘Hi!’ type. I’m more like a “Hello” or a “Hi” guy. Or maybe it’s ‘hi’. “hi’ makes me approachable, less prickly. Yet, it’s hard to alter the brand, callus layered on callus. ‘Hi!’ would be inauthentic or soft, and both just won’t do. Dad’s the tough guy. There’s an image to uphold. A Brand to burnish.” – Lol, you worry too much. As for our children and their growing up…bittersweet, I know.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. jborden119 says:

    Reminds me of another great Harry Chapin song – Tangled Up Puppet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9xx7MFvPck Glad to hear Rachel’s leading the troops…

    Liked by 1 person

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