Finding myself in the Middle East

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Past Tense

Want to know the worst thing about him being gone?

Okay, it's not the worst thing about him being gone.

I mean, the worst thing about him being gone is Him, Being, Gone.

But one of the worst things?

That every memory, funny or sweet or otherwise, is laced with him being gone. Even things that were funny are now wouldn't that have been so funny if he wasn't gone...

Every anecdote is coated in a layer of death. You don't get laughter when you tell over the funny story of how one time my father was... You get sad smiles and eyes filled with cloying understanding sweetness of oh, how you must miss him so. And the uncomfortable body language. Shift, shift. As if hiding your living father behind your body. I don't want your living father! Keep him! I just wanted to tell you a funny story!

But when the subject of your story is dead, nothing is just funny.It has gone beyond that earthly emotion. It is now all in the realm of nostalgia.

"My father said that joke all the time! That's so funny that it's also your family joke! We would throw tissues at him! Soooo corny!"


"My parents were also a foot apart in height.My mother had to run to keep up with him when he was strolling."

Tsk, tsk,.

"One time my father picked me up from school and there was that poem on the wall, 'A Smile Costs Nothing,' and he thought it was so amazing that he read the whole thing out loud--really loud--to me as all of my friends were walking out of class. I was so embarrassed, I wanted to sink into the floor."

Ah, yes. A sad dead story about her sad dead father.

No! No! It was funny! And you were just talking about your father embarrassing you, and I said a story about my father embarrassing me, and...and...yeah, okay, let's all shift uncomfortably and talk about recipes.

Also? So many italics in one short post! You know what? It reminds me of that time that my father...

Oh, forget it.

Edited to Add: But for real? Methinks I protest too much.

Because maybe--just maybe--they are picking up on the lurch in my heart that I get whenever I say the name "Abba."


happydeer said...

I have never posted before, but have been reading for quite some time - and was hoping everything was okay during your hiatus.

Your ability to convey shades of meaning and nuances of emotion in your writing is so evocative...especially for another - like myself - who is missing her Abba. Mine is gone far longer than yours - and as much as a teeny-tiny part of you hopes that those lurches never go away, funny stories do truly become funny once again. But in reading your sadness, mine comes to the fore - since it never, ever, truly disappears, just gets covered in that thin veneer of learning to live with the unthinkable. And I think that is how we would all prefer it. For what would it say about us if it became more than a veneer.

We all have our own journeys.
Custom-made for all of us.

JerusalemStoned said...

Your comment made me cry.

Thank you for sharing some of yourself with me.


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