My niece looks at picture of the 18 and 19 year-old man I once was and tells me she and her mom think her older brother, my nephew looks just like me.
I agree, he does and I hear the echoes of dad telling me about how my nephew ran the ball up the middle.
“He is like you, doesn’t fear the contact.”
I keep looking for dad, keep waiting for him to show up and tell us he got distracted at Home Depot or Costco. It is ridiculous, he is gone and he isn’t coming back.
But still I look because some part of me hasn’t internalized it all or maybe I have.
I wander into the garage, open his tool chest and inhale searching for a particular scent.
It is the same on his side of the closet, I grab more shirts, and take a few more bits of toiletries. I can’t quite smell him, not in real time but enough magic lives within for memory to take over.
Life In A Suitcase
I hate living out of a suitcase but for a week or so this is how it is.
Barely been in town and have noticed a million changes and can already feel the clock speeding up, won’t be but a minute before I am in the air again ready to resume the next part of life.
The plan to shave off my beard is making me feel edgy because I have gotten use to having it. Gotten used to asking my barber to help me keep it shaped and know where to check to make sure food isn’t stuck in it.
People comment about how dark it is and I wonder if the rest of me suddenly looks that old and if that is why they are surprised that it doesn’t reflect my age as they wish.
Part of me doesn’t care what color it is because I have earned every line in my face and any gray that exists upon my head.
Yet there is another part that says I ought not to shave it because I won’t like how I look without it and I might as well enjoy the time of it as black and not white.
But I will probably force myself to grab the shears and go about for a bit as a clean shaven man for the ritual aspect of it.
It is time to acknowledge the year anniversary of dad moving on and shaving is part of my saying goodbye to what was and hello to what will be.
Won’t take long to grow it again if I want, long enough to irritate me but not so long that I can’t be patient.
I never worry about forgetting dad or the things I learned for a thousand different reasons not the least of which is I have his hands.
Looked at old pictures of him again and confirmed for the millionth time that his fingers and mine are as I have stated.
Gestures immortalized in Kodachrome make it clear if I had nothing else to remember him by my hands will make it simple.
It is part of why I like using the tools he gave me because it almost feels like he is doing it with me.
I can’t be who I once was anymore. That guy is long gone and there is a new one coming on board.
New options, new opportunities and chances to do more than look backwards and watch must go just as doing nothing but watching the road ahead approach and disappear behind are over too.
Drink deep in and of the memories, change isn’t coming, it is here.