Friday, December 11, 2009

The Well-worn Path, or Sun(down) is the Darkest Hour

I have been down this road before - and the path, by the way, is so very ugly ... and sad.

I never believed my parents to be invincible, nor did I labor under the delusion they were perfect and all-knowing. They always seemed flawed to me - weak people who did very good things, and who smoked cigarettes and had sex (which they told me was dirty but did anyway). I corrected their grammar when I was five. I started to pay bills and run the house(hold) when I was 9 - after my mother died.

And, at that, she did die. She was imperfect because she left me.

Tonight, my father couldn't find me. I was working today - at a temp job, as I did last week. And, as happened last week, the shuttle from the job-site dropped me and my coworkers off at the office somewhere around 10PM. And like last week, I waited. And waited. And waited.

Last week, it snowed in the morning - although only a flurry, and this week it was raining and cold. There was a chill wind in the air.

And it cut to the bone ...

My father couldn't find me. He was confused. He was lost, and - though he turned on his cell phone and answered my call while driving - he was at a loss to describe to me either where he was or what he could see in front of him. He said it was allergies - that his eyes were burning, and it was hard to see, and that a big truck splashed his little car, forcing him off the road.

At one point, he said the name of a highway and a street more than halfway across town. And then he said that he'd passed me and was going to turn around. I couldn't quite cobble together where he was, or what was happening - because somehow it all just happened so quick.

Quickly - the grammatically appropriate word - isn't right. It was quick - as in "cuts to the ..." and I am at a loss as to what I do, or feel. Beyond, that is, a profound and infinite sadness that I remember what I forgot from childhood - that my father is not invincible, and that nothing golden stays.

I've been down this road before, and the path is very ugly and sad, and familiar.


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