whirlpooled topics unbackspaced. streams of consciousness. blurts. scribbled notes. outlined ideas. velocity waves. snatches from icloud. because self-editing is a writer’s cowardly way of preventing a reader from fucking the writer's confidence. dates don't matter. memories and moments aren't chronologically marked on the soul.

Forced

I sat in the lab at the clinic on Tuesday and I remembered I sat there with my Mother in January.
 
And then I remembered I sat with my Father in the lab last fall. The remembrance shook my soul with a profound sorrow. I realized he was dead.

I didn’t mourn my Father at his death. I was too busy. Too concerned with the care of my Mother. I didn’t have time to grieve; like Lucy grasping at the candy assembly line, I had constant tasks.

Tuesday my tasks were as absent as my Father. And I started to grieve.

My Father was a good man in the shadow of a great woman. How good? He always basked in the shine of his soulmate. He wasn’t jealous; he felt toasty in her warmth. Like a Price Is Right showgirl, he stood aside and directed attention to his prize.
 
When my Father left the police force, he worked in labor relations. A union man. I saw my Dad in his professional set. He was beloved, admired, dynamic, feared. A force.
 
My Father loved classical music, his Rosary, clothes, sports, Austria, handball, his country, police work, his children, and most importantly - Patty.
 
Yesterday the Men’s Club at our parish sent snail mail announcements of the cribbage tournament. Each year my Father and his buddy entered. Each year he didn’t want to go. My Mother insisted. My Mother insisted he played on a bowling team - played pickup basketball games through his 50s - and went fishing. My Dad just wanted to be home. With her. With us. An unhappiest childhood made him grasp his wife and his children. He felt satisfied. Happiest. Content in his matrimonial cocoon.
 
My Dad and I went through a spell when our frictions chafed. Truthfully, I was this problem. My Mother made it quite clear: we were a happy family. I was causing conflict. I could change or leave. Concise. Simple. “If it’s between you and Mac Trost (she called him Mac even to us) you’ll have to go.”

Tuesday I remembered I sat beside my Father. He held my hand. Near his end he’d hold my hand.
 
I miss my Father.