Friday, May 04, 2007

Safety that I want now a sense of closure


Outside on the fire escape -- I like this space, place to myself with all of this air although I wouldn't mind a few trees, maybe a redwood or two rising up above all of these buildings. But at least I can see those crazy mountains in the distance, the different types of clouds, the softness of all the fading colors of the buildings. But right now I'm actually facing away from all of that, towards the wall next to my apartment. Here is where I'm suddenly thinking about my father, that he'll never acknowledge anything because now he's dead and that's final, I wish somehow it wasn't I remember that moment when I touched his skin in that hospital bed in what we called the family room, what they still called the family room -- what they still call it I guess, present tense even though the house is sold and my mother moves in a month I think.

But back to my father in that hospital bed, touching his skin and even a tear making its way out of his eye I used to be so afraid of those eyes, huge and dark they swallowed me. Here his eyes are sadder and maybe that’s part of the softness I'm looking for, there I mean in that room, the family room, that softness there and I really wish he could have said something so small like I love you, something small like that and maybe sometimes I could treasure that even if it were still fraught with all of the violence surrounding its simplicity never possible.

Instead I was the one who said I love you, I was the one who cried and cried and he responded with maybe a few tears. He listened, and I was grateful for that at least. This was a time when I was surprised by the strength I was able to show through vulnerability that he will never know I guess, vulnerability even in a space that offered me nothing even remotely resembling safety, nothing like that ever really in all of the years that I inhabited it. I remember my father giving me math problems in that room, I liked math problems when I was really little and even maybe approaching my teenage years when we’d play chess and my father would truly fight to win, he’d get so angry it was horrible.

I want to think about whether there was ever any safety in that room, in that house there must have been moments I can't remember. But what strange salvation am I looking for? Maybe it's safety that I want now a sense of closure that can never be. I can only think of his skin, his eyes, and it's all gone.

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