Somewhere between Bell's Palsy and death
Friday, September 04, 2009
“Oh my God, you’re openly weeping, aren’t you!?”

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Some months ago, maybe around Thanksgiving or Christmas, I got a small package in the mail from Dad’s sister up in Michigan, and in it were photos they’d found of him. They were the usual you’d expect—elementary class shots, shots of him with his bike, his first car, even a couple sitting half-asleep in a ... well, it wouldn’t have been a car seat in 1934, but some sort of seater thing when he couldn’t have been more than a couple months old. Anyway, I’m looking at them and chuckling at his big ol’ jug ears and teenaged dorkiness when I shuffled to the above picture.

Now, those of you who’ve been in The Resort have seen the one photo I have of Dad on the bookcase: He had to have been about 1 when it was taken, and it’s one of those old-timey, hand-painted things they did in the early 1930s, where they painstakingly added some unholy shade of peach to make the sepia tones more natural. His hair brushed neatly to one side and way-serious expression, I don’t want to say there’s an inherent sadness to it because no one smiled in pictures back in the ‘30s. Really, he just kind of looks like a little old man-boy in a ruffly apricot gown.

So when I came to this shot—him slumped over with unbridled, toothless baby joy—I promptly lost it.

Eight years ago today was Dad’s wake. It was also the day where it was made abundantly clear by Mother to me that SHE was the only person who lost him. Yeah, he raised me and taught me to read at age 2, but he was her HUSBAND, you see. Because of that (as well as various other sundry reasons having to do with my well-documented aversion to feeling feelings), I don’t often talk about him, or at least not without people prompting the conversation. There’ve been quite a few people who’ve brought him up to me this summer, though, interestingly enough. Something else kind of interesting, at least to me, is that my aunt sent the pictures to me with not a word about sharing them with Mother. I struggled with that for a few days, too, over whether I should.

I haven’t.


Posted by Broad12:11 AM
It is the job of a good person to be honest. To be self-aware. To deliberately explore the fault lines of your character and try desperately to not inflict suffering in this strange, ghost-ridden world of worked and fabricated objects. Sometimes the jobs of writer and good person coincide. But more often they don’t. There are way more writers in the world than there are good people.

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Give it to me, baby.

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The Make-Believe Oral Cancer Foundation (M-BOCF) is now accepting donations on my behalf. Won't you please help those of us who jump to hideous conclusions regarding our oral health and help me get a root canal or two!??:



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