From the Archives – I Am A Donkey

Below is a post that I wrote almost a year ago. For some reason, it seems to resonate with me today.

April 26, 2013

When my father was here in February he said to me, “[Bernard], just be a donkey.” This has become a running joke in my family, and, sadly, I cannot live the title down.

Strangely, this was not the first time that I have been called or told to be a donkey. The first time was about three years ago, when I was sitting at the wood of my favourite, but now closed, bar in Calgary.

Three years ago I was talking with some friends and the topic of my relationship with the girl that I was dating at the time came up. These friends of mine were planning their wedding, and there was love in the air. They asked me how I felt about the girl, and I told them that it was okay for now.

Without missing a beat, my, by-now-drunk friend, said, “You’re a donkey!” She then covered her mouth in horror and became wide-eyed, as the rest of us burst out laughing. It was a moment that I will not soon forget.

The horror that my friend experienced was momentary, and she proceeded to repeat that I was a donkey. I asked her why, through the tears of laughter, but she was too far gone to do much more than repeat herself. She was, however, able to order another round of drinks.

Eventually I was able to get her to reveal that I am a donkey for being on the fence about the relationship that I was in. I had never seen a donkey sit, or even straddle, a fence, but there I was.

When my dad told me to be a donkey, I was, similarly, on a fence. I was considering my options for the next six months, and did not really have any idea about what I wanted to do or how to figure it out. In short, I was bored with my life and needed to find something to get me out of the funk.

My dad has a funny way with words, especially when he speaks English; if he has anything really important to say, he will say it in Katchi. In this case, his life advice came in English and I think he really meant what he said. He has, and continues to tell me to, “Suck their asses,” when giving me career advice. He tells me that there are “plenty of fish in the pond,” when I seek advice about women. (While I cannot be sure, a few stories that I have heard about my dad lead me to believe that he was quite the ladies’ man in his day. In fact, I have been witness to him turning the heads of a few women – more women than I have seen turn their heads for me, including that one in Dubai who wanted to become a Canadian citizen.)

I am losing track of where I am going with this…maybe it is the bourbon.

Right, so, my dad told me to be a donkey because he wanted me to stop being so sensitive and just take life as it comes. He wanted me to stop thinking about the “why’s” of life, and just get on with living. He wanted, I think, more than anything, for me to be happy with simplicity; to stop searching for something greater than what is already a wonderful thing – my life.

You see, my dad is an unbelievably happy man. His happiness is almost tiring, because I cannot understand why he is so fucking happy. I hear bits of his story – the parts he is willing to share – and I think about how I would respond in the same situation. If you have been keeping up with my blog, you will know that it is unlikely that I would come out with any sense of happiness to any situation (this should change *emoticon with the tilde and closing parentheses*).

Anyway, the temporary job that I had ended early due to budgeting restrictions. I told my folks the news, and was sure to tell them that I had already started reaching out to my network for a new opportunity. My mom said that I sounded pretty content, considering the situation, and in the background I heard my dad say, “That is because he is now a mule.”

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