Monday, August 10, 2009

Dad Gone Mad

Last week, I went to Danny Evans' book signing here in Escondido. It was pretty deceiving, since we walked into the large bookstore and explored the entire store without finding Dad Gone Mad or anything that remotely looked like there was an event going on somewhere in the vicinity. In fact, we almost left, my friend making fun of me for driving such a long way on the wrong night, or driving to the wrong location. Then, I asked an employee to help me figure it all out once I had the Dad Gone Mad appearance listing open on my iPhone...

We found Danny tucked away in a little corner of the bookstore, where he was answering questions and reading from his book, Rage Against the Meshugenah. Perhaps his use of the word testicles or dropping the "F" bomb is what kept them from putting him on display right in front, but I was ever-so-pleased to have found him and the small, yet intimate group of readers there to meet him.

Danny spoke quietly so I walked to the front row in order to hear him as he read the laugh-out-loud scenes from his book that covered his conversation with his mom about priaprism and about his experience with his psychiatrist who fondled his shirt upon first meeting him.

I started reading his book the very next day at the beach. I couldn't put it down (I blame him and his compelling story for my sunburn) and I found myself both laughing and crying along with Danny as he shared his very personal account of being laid off (been there), dealing with depression (been there too), experiencing a miscarriage (been there as well) and dealing with his feelings of inadequacy as a new parent (yep, been there once again).

Despite the fact that this book is a humorous look at serious topics, the most touching and poignant passages from Danny's writing were the pages where he discussed his unconditional love for his wife, Sharon, who stood by him through his darkest times. He describes the way they embrace and how, mostly because of their relationship, and her faith in him, that he is able to survive his depression and come out on the other side, more aware, more enlightened and better able to enjoy his role as husband, dad and son to his parents.
"I'm more than a foot taller than Sharon...When we're hugging over something happy, she stands on a chair so she can squeeze my neck and I can kiss hers. When I'm feeling romantic (or reasonable variations thereof), I walk up behind her and wrap my arms around her shoulders. When we're making up after an argument, Sharon sits on the couch, I get on my knees in front of her, and I dive in to bury my face in her neck."
"If my life could be measured with the same kind of line graph economists use to measure stock performance on Wall Street, there would be a huge spike at the moment I kissed Sharon's soft, sweet lips for the first time."
Danny writes from the heart. He writes with passion and full disclosure as he sorts through the emotions and experiences of truly finding himself after reaching the deep end. Readers will travel with him on this journey as he explores the depths of his despair and reaches new heights with his recovery and through the eyes of his children.
"The sight of two caring, special human beings - that I helped to create - displaying kindness and love to one another (without being asked) shattered the mold of what I thought I was, what I thought a Man was. Just as the case was with the onset of my depression a few years earlier, the feeling I had at that moment was unlike anything I'd encountered before. And just like depression, that vision rocked me to the core and forced me to take stock of what was happening around me. The one obvious difference between these two moments was that the former left me awash in numbness and confusion. The latter flooded me with a sense that perhaps my life was just beginning..."

1 comment:

Only Aman said...

Very nice review. I am awaiting my signed copy. I sent a friend to Escondido to get us a copy... of course... it wont be the same experience you had... but i still look forward to it!

Thanks for your review - makes me more excited to read it when i get mine... yes I read... most words.