Sometimes, what heart know, head forget.

Last night I watched The Karate Kid for the first time since high school.
I graduated high school (barely) in 1990.
It’s been at least that long since I saw it last. And as much I loved Elisabeth Shue (the big hair, the popped collar, the knee socks – swoon), that particular movie wasn’t one I was inclined to watch on repeat. Yet, it always seemed to be on.
That was my memory of it before watching it last night anyway.
Funny thing was I wasn’t hearing Myagi when Myagi talked. I was hearing my dad. And then I was hearing my dad laugh.
Every. Single. Time.
My dad was a dad. He loved shitty one-liners, pithy quotes, at the risk of being redundant, he loved shitty dad jokes. And The Karate Kid is nothing but a script full of all of the above.
My dad had walls of movies. VHS tapes of crappy copies he recorded – or, more to the point, made me record. Why were they crappy copies? Well, for those of you not old enough to have been there, you could record less on one VHS tape, but for much better quality. OR, as was the case in Casa De La Cheapskate, you could record a whole lot more on the same tape, but the quality was shit.
Anyway, one of those movies was the Karate Kid. I don’t really remember watching it more than once, but it somehow seeped deep into the darkest parts of my psyche because as I watched last night I was quoting the shit out of it.
Why do I know this line? Because my dad used to say it. All. The. Time.

And I would hear my dad’s evil laugh. Every dad has an evil laugh. That son-of-a-bitch.
It always sounds exactly like Mr. Miyagi’s laugh when he delivers the dad classic – oh Danielson, you all a wet behind a ear!

*evil dad laugh*

I may have even cried watching The Fucking Karate Kid. Not sad tears. Not exactly.
The kind of tears nobody tells you about. 
The tears that come when you get an unexpected visit from that person your heart misses more than you realize.
Those I am so glad you stopped by today tears sprinkled with just a hint of sad.
It is still grief after all.
I’m glad you stopped by last night, dad.

Copyright 2022 Rudy Martinez
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