I am Moana

I am a 39-year-old, father of two (age six and seven), a Vice President at a billion-dollar healthcare information publishing company, and I am Moana. Nobody knows this, except my wife…(she thinks it’s funny), my kids (they think I’m weird), and the damn CIA (Alexa told them everything).

Am I really a sixteen-year-old animated young girl from the Pacific Islands, yearning to lead her once-explorer people back to their adventurous roots on the high seas (drums beating in the background, wind and salt air through my hair)? No, alas, no. My fate is pale, in comparison.

Maybe I just like the movie? Again, no. I have warmed, but cartoons don’t move the needle. I can’t relate, not to Moana, nor Maui. Unwilling, unable to suspend my disbelief, I sit in silent protest. Alone in solitude. “Kill me”, I think, in jest. What gets me through it is popcorn. Buttery popcorn, and an occasional bourbon. “Please”, what’s left of my sanity begs, “spare me the Godawful 20-minute short film”.

They’re hokey, and patronizing, those quirky shorts. Not ordered, nor advertised. Shoved down my throat, like a surprise party. Do the Disney execs take me for some benevolent fool, hooting, cackling, gorging myself in gratitude for every extra minute of artistic self-indulgence? It’s worse now that I know they’re coming, those damn short films.

It’s March 19th today. The weekend of St. Patrick, and the NCAA b-ball tourney. Tickets are being punched to the sweet 16 this very moment, and I don’t even know who’s playing. I didn’t fill out a bracket. I haven’t even seen one this year or last. I was watching Moana. Always, Moana.

I can hear the buoyant whisper of Dwayne Johnson in my sleep, “You’re welcome!”, for the sea, the stars and the sky…

Thanks for nothing, Dwayne. I cannot smell what the Rock is cooking.

Ten years ago today, I was in Las Vegas (freak’n las vegas). The excitement, palpable. Money on every game, drinks in both hands, with a freedom so raw it was not yet understood. Few better times could be had in the desert oasis of tomfoolery than weekends 1-2 of March Madness (he thinks, smiling, a fading spark in his eye, an icy drink running dry, the thought of a world passing by…).

This March, another sort of madness. Wife, kids. Keeping the bills paid, the lights on, and the pie growing, in a world mixed up. In a world that needs a captain, I forge on.

I am M-o-a-n-a!!!!

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