The last time I saw my dad, it was three weeks before he would die. Leaving my apartment to make the long drive back from Michigan to Texas, my neighbor had cornered him to look at her bloody eye. The inside of her cornea had filled up with blood like some godawful horror movie eye where she hit herself with a broomstick while dusting out her storage unit. "Do you think I'm in danger?" she asked him. "Should I go to the hospital?" People were forever asking my dad questions like this -- he had that stable, comforting look. The week before she'd shown him her gums. They were infected from the denture adhesive she'd used after her teeth fell out from a medication she'd been prescribed for another affliction. Dear Lord, the woman did not have good luck! My neighbor was my dad's age, in her fifties, but seemed as if she were of a different generation entirely, maybe more like Marie, the ninety-five year old above me who was routinely leaving her stove on and burning her clothes. I used to joke that her son had to escape from the nursing home he was in to come see her. Marie had style, though, and would yell, chic, chic out her window when she liked the outfits I wore to work.
In a few weeks, I'd scheduled to move out of that building that I referred to as The Misery for reasons that should now be all too obvious. My dad would be leaving as well, for whatever lies behind this earthly veil. He spent his last two weeks on a business trip which made me think of when I was a little girl. My parents wouldn't tell me when my dad was going to be away because I'd get too upset and stop eating entirely. And when he was away, I wouldn't eat, my own little hunger strike. He'd often bring back medically-themed gifts to assuage my sadness at his absence. The irony now being I imagine him away on a business trip all the time, not gone entirely, but out of range, as a comfort rather than a misery, perspective being everything and nothing all at the same time.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Still I have not got used to it. /My mind can still form to that chair him/ whom no chair holds." Mary Karr
Drinking documentary suggestion: Shot In The Dark
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Father's Day!