Today’s post is an excerpt from the memoir I wrote last year, the one I used as a tool to work through both my relationship with, and the loss of my father. Which is an ongoing process, at best.
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When we sat down at a table together, for better or worse, we attended the ritual of being family, and somehow this made it so.
Mostly I think of dimly lit Italian restaurants, the smell of garlic hanging like a spirit in the air, and dad ordering Chianti in a weird accent, insisting despite the confusion of the wait staff, that he was pronouncing it authentically.
My father is my Jacob Marley. He's the face I see in my doorknocker and the voice I hear in my head, wailing that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused!*.
He practically wedges himself past the woman and into the house, although she hasn’t exactly opened the door wide in welcome. I meet her eyes in concession to the unusualness of this situation, an unusualness I feel she and I exist alone within, like a very small room painted in bright colors which clash violently enough to make you uncomfortable. But then I dart past her, after my father, because I am slightly concerned that concession or no, she might shut the door in my face.
Today is a working day. I've gotten a late start, but now I'm working. I've pushed two tables together here at the shop. E and T are in the posture of creation, bent double, with expressions that describe their labor. I suppose I look like that too when I write, at once broken and ecstatic. Not beautiful but interesting.
I just want to take a million pictures of this, but I can't bear to interrupt them.
I might, though.