Movies are one of the things my dad and I share. We are both just as content watching a Vin Deisel shoot-em-up-bang-em-up as a critically acclaimed masterpiece. In Arizona, after my mom returned to the east, Sunday morning sci-fi thrillers were often the only time we would see each other for the week.

On this particular afternoon - long before Arizona - we were watching A Knight's Tale again. It had become one of my favorites, the kind of staple I knew every line to. We had reached the scene where Count Adamar suggests Heath Ledger's character teach a dance from his native country in hopes of exposing him as a fraud. Instead it turns into one of the greatest dance sequences of all time.

Shortly after the flutes and the gentle strings give way to Golden Years, my dad asks, “Do you know who this is?” I shake my head. “It’s David Bowie.” He says it with satisfaction, like that should mean something to me but it doesn’t and I just stare at him waiting for further explanation. “Jareth. The goblin king. From the Labyrinth...” It was the first time anyone had suggested that he was more than a B-list actor. I was blown away.

Because I loved A Knight’s Tale so much, my dad and I went to the King Richard’s Faire. There were plenty of stories of my siblings going, including one about my brother and the infamous jester hat, but I had never been.

Going was a treat in itself, but going just my dad an I was amazing. I can think of a few other times before the divorcewhere dad and I went on a solo outing. There was the year we walked the telephone wire picking wildflower seeds and the days when I would spend the day coloring flash printouts at the tattoo shop while he worked or the times I was able to tag along with the bike club for long rides up to the mountains.

Between the shop in Portland and working as a longshoreman in Boston, meant that quality time was often relegated to holidays or chipped out late at night, long after I should have been in bed. On those nights, he was never mad that I was up late. Instead he would show me a CD of a new artist he’d just learned of or teach me how to eyes that follow you across the room. This was different. He’d taken the day off so we could watch the jousting, but we wouldn’t catch a single match. A misprint in the schedule brought us to the tourney ring an hour early, just in time for a falconry demonstration.

The falconer had hawks and owls that he would get to chace rabbit lures across the ground and rip little bean bags out of the air. Watching the birds perform their tricks and return back to their master’s hand was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. When the demonstration was over, we followed the man back to his booth where we were able to meet the birds. I had forgotten all about the Knights.