Dear Dad

Hey Dad.  It has been a while.  I mean, I’m no longer fifteen anymore, am I?  Sometimes it’s hard.  I’m surprised by the random sting when a friend talks about her dad.  Or the sudden pang when I see a dad pushing his child on a swing at the park.  Sometimes a song will trigger it.  On my run a couple of days ago The Artist in the Ambulance by Thrice did the trick.  I ran through it, though.  I think you would have been proud.

I hate writing anymore.  I hate the voice I’ve created.  I don’t want to look back and read it and correct it.  I need to write but I’m not sure I’ll ever actually sit down to write.  It’s painful.  It recalls too many memories.  I write about things too close to me, but I don’t know how not to.  We write about the things we know, right?  For 8 years all I’ve known is confusion, for 6, depression.  Sometimes the thoughts come in a cyclic flow and I don’t know how to stop them.  That’s when I turn on Netflix or go to bed.

Sometimes I’m afraid the things that I write sound like a suicide note.  They’re not.  They’re a means of bringing myself into another day.  Is that what I’m afraid of?  Finally saying things the way they’re supposed to be and realizing, that’s it.  That’s all I had to do in this life.

But that’s not how it goes, and I know that.  I’m here to stay and that is a promise.  Wintry days do that to you.  Nights where you’re not allowed to sleep, sitting under florescent lighting, begging your lids to flutter open.  That’s when you realize seventy-four seems a pretty ace age to die.  I’ve got a couple years until then, I think.

I’m staring at my photo albums on the top of my book shelf and thinking of the photos I’ll find within.  Some from vacations, some from Christmas, some from random days running around with a camera.  I’m thinking about my insecurities and all that I doomed myself to miss out on.  For example, I loved skateboarding but I never went because no one wanted to go with me anymore.

I think about the future as a blank slate.  But in this moment the past haunts.  They say you can’t escape your past, that you’ll have to face it at some point in your life.  And, yeah, I believe it’s true.  But maybe it isn’t so much about embracing your past as it is about recognizing it.  It was there.  It happened.  It was what it was.  But what is now and how it can shape what can be…oh my.  In that very concept there is magic.

I had a dream the other night that a regular at my last job was talking to me.  I’m not sure what he was telling me. My memory almost comes across as him giving me a lecture, which is odd, since I’m not sure he’s the kind of guy who would do that.  He never has in the past, at least.  He was my favorite regular and it dawned on me today that I will probably never see him again.  I think the dream was trying to tell me something.  I just wish I knew what.  I know that if you were here you would love to discuss this dream with me.  Though if you were here, I’m not sure I’d be so open about sharing it with you.  You are my dad and I am an angsty young adult after all.

I know that if I ever get married it will be wonderful.  My mom will walk me down the aisle, and you will walk her down the aisle though no one will be able to see it.  Or maybe you’ll be standing with my groom, waiting for her so you can renew your vows.

I completely understand the movie “Ask Me Anything”.  I know why she left.  I get it.  In some ways I feel like I was her.  Does this shame you?

Someday I hope to be old.  I hope to be rocking my grandchild on my lap, in my favorite chair and reading the beautiful human a special book.  The Hobbit, I think, would do.


Your Little Girl


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