“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”
― Bertrand Russell
The bells go off in my head and I cannot help but pick my head and look around to see if I can spot the Bellringer while simultaneously inhaling through my nose.
Do I smell home or is it an echo?
Cue God Only Knows on the turntable and picture driving up PCH and a future or perhaps a past that never happened and a future that never was.
Think about a late night conversation interrupted by an 18-year-old who might actually be able to look me in the eye without a stool, shoes or ladder.
“Tell him to go to bed.”
I laugh knowing the best I can do is send him to his room and say nothing because if I say something it will open up a 5 minute conversation about why I said it.
In this respect he is a twin of his father so quiet will lead to solitude which is why my lips stay sealed.
One of the boys uses that archaic device we call a telephone to check in and ask a question.
“If I asked you to write a girl a love letter for me would you do it?”
He is smart enough to say he wants me to type it so he can handwrite it and send it to her.
It gives it a more personal touch and provides security from my taking liberties with it.
“Ah, you want me to be your Cyrano and engage in the dishonest honesty of writing. Do you know the woman who received the most love letters from me has little to no idea what my handwriting looks like.
She might recognize the words and sentence structure, but if she saw something I wrote I don’t know if the penmanship would give me away.”
That is a surprise to him and for a moment he rattles off a litany of changes.
“We’re too old to play games. Why can’t she just tell me what she thinks.”
“You’re assuming she hasn’t.”
“I am certain that she has but not certain she really means them. I think she thinks she means them because it is what makes sense now.”
I interrupt him and ask if I can cut to the chase.
“It doesn’t matter whether you profess your undying love or tell her you are not going to talk to her for a month or five years.
This is not something you can influence, unless you die or go to prison. It is not entirely her choice either, she likes to think it is because she likes control just as you do.
It is going to unfold and play out however it does. Live your life and see what happens.”
“Are you going to write the fucking letter or not?”
“Yeah, I’ll write it and she’ll take the red or blue dress off right after she finishes it. That is the good news. The bad news is you won’t be there to see it. Write your own fucking letter cuz if she knows you she won’t buy my words as coming from you.”
The Fatherless Son
We hit month number eight since I became a fatherless son and each day one step farther away from the time when my siblings and I could go to sleep knowing our original family was intact.
Growth is a good thing and there is nothing wrong or unnatural about our all starting our own families, but until you lose a parent you don’t fully comprehend the profound change.
I am not truly fatherless.
I knew dad and as the poets say I carry him with me just as he carried his father with him. There is a long chain to which I am tied and one day my son will assume this place.
As the only son my experience is different, no better nor worse than my sisters.
There are things you ask the parent who shares your gender or understandings you have because some things will never translate.
Saturday morning I thought about those last days when I was asked to tell dad to let go and to say I would do as I had promised.
I did so unhappily but dutifully because I think he had reached a space where instinct is what kept him fighting to stick around.
It was time for him to be reminded he didn’t have to fight some battles and if you ask my honest opinion I will tell you it was different hearing it from me.
That is not my ego speaking, it is experience with dad.
He would have trusted everyone to do their best and to manage regardless, but me, he would have expected that one more step.
It is not something I intend to discuss with anyone. Doesn’t matter if others agree or disagree, sometimes you have feelings and they are not required to be logical, rational or based in fact.
I love who I love, like who I like and dislike those who fit that particular bill for a particular time if not for always.
Life, it burns,burns,burns…