I Like Your Boobs, Daddy
Updated: a day ago
I like your boobs, daddy.
My son said that to me on April 28th of this year. We were sitting on the couch, watching a movie. He and his sister were on either side of me. He had his head and a hand on my chest. One simple, declarative sentence from a 7 year old boy. I laughed when he said it, saying “thanks, dude. what every dad likes to hear.” It was funny, but, l don’t think he meant it to be. He was just saying what he felt (literally). One simple sentence and I decided right then that I needed to change. Everything.
On the surface was an appeal to vanity, sure, but not too far below it, a potent mix of self-loathing and despair. It’s one thing to disappoint yourself — as I had been actively doing in all my passivity (no new songs, no shows, still stuck in soul-suck day job, etc.), but it’s another to feel as if you’re about to, or could, disappoint your child. Within minutes of him having said it, I imagined picking my kids up at school, and hearing: “that’s my dad over there. The one with the boobs.” That’s where I went in my mind, which told me, in a way, that I needed to go somewhere else, decisively, with my body, my health and, by extension, my life.
This here Cuban Cowboy’s reinvention began in earnest the next day. I had been treading water on several fronts - health, career, art — telling myself I was making an effort, progressing incrementally toward some undefined ‘goal,’ as if such a thing could exist. Undefined goals aren’t goals. Compulsions or expectations, perhaps, but not goals. Expectations aren’t goals either. I’ve heard it said that expectations are simply down payments on resentments. If so, then I had made lots of down payments. What were my goals, then? Did I set out to look and feel like this?: