. . . (3)

15 May

–Dad?

–Dad? Dad. It’s me.

I hear him but I don’t hear him. I cannot explain. In my head I’m talking to him. But I know I’m not. Really. I can see it on his face. I’m just his catatonic father. I’m just looking at him confused. But I’m not. I cannot explain. I wish I could take away his hurt. His pain. Guilt, probably. He’s just a boy. Only a boy, really. He’s nineteen years of age. Motherless. Fatherless.

There are black and white photographs in a shoe box I keep under the bed. When I remember, I take them out. Here’s your mother and I in 1962. Before Natasha came around. We are at a party. We are both smoking. I am wearing a suit. She is still overweight. Always has been. This is when we used to travel. When she could, easily. We owned an apartment building in Brahmapur, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. This photo was taken at a party in London. Your mother was English. And German. You and your sister were born in Canada. She went to McGill. You wanted to study there also, but by then we had moved. You wanted to. But by then we had gone to that place where the American children put you upside down into a rubbish can. I have always felt remorse for bringing you to America.

–Dad. Let’s get you up.

I started walking after Natasha left to chase that Dutch man from South Africa. And after they moved to Zimbabwe and he had an illegitimate child with that African woman, your mother decided she could not travel anymore. You were always put ahead of everything. You were an Indian boy, and Indian boys are always put ahead of everything. It is why your sister ran away to the bottom of the world. In our household she did not matter as much as you. Your mother knew that’s why Natasha left. So did I. It was our culture. I have many regrets. It is what happens to a man who lives too long. He looks back and sees the many regrets. Are you listening? How can you? I am not saying anything to you. I know I’m not. I can see it on your face. I wish I could take away your pain. There are many things I now wish. One of them is to die soon.

–Dad?
–Don’t hold up supper for me.
I say this and I turn on my side, facing the wall.

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One Response to “. . . (3)”

  1. Slyboots 15/05/2008 at 10:46 PM #

    There was an article in the Seattle PI (or Times- don’t remember) about a guy with dementia; he is 55. He did the walking thing. I was impressed that you captured what was going on in his head in the earlier entry. I was kind of hoping that you were wrong, just because it all makes me very sad. But that’s life, no? Sad as hell, and on a one way street. Just don’t pass on the corners, that’s dangerous.

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