this past weekend i celebrated my thirtieth year. (were we celebrating past or future?) the old house was cleaned out and polished, lights hung in the trees in the backyard, the patio swept and the firepit set, bottles and bottles on the table in the dining room.
i find myself continuing to crawl backwards into myself. no more moving outward, no more extension, but myself folding in, inverting. all the stories i could tell seem so useless when they pile one on top of the other. to explain this i must tell that, and to explain that i must tell this. and so why bother. isn't it easier to vanish?
i talked to my father yesterday. (how many things unsaid even in that simple statement...)
he told me that he had taken a trip to maine. he sailed a sailboat out into the ocean; sliding through marble waters. on the last day as they sailed toward port, the wind picked up. the waters swelled and splashed over the edge of the boat, misting salt spray. he told me how perfect it was. meanwhile my mother hadn't received the check he should have sent. and the present he could have given me lay locked up in a safe at borders.
still in maine, my father ran into a woman he had once worked with. my father had been fired from that job and given an apocalyptic prophecy as a send off: my father would never work again, he wouldn't be able to send me to college, his life would descend into an unidentifiable mess. "but look at me now", my dad said to me, imagining he was confronting his old boss. "i'm on a cruise in maine. i showed him. i wonder what sort of stories they are telling in the old office now."
"i couldn't imagine a better way to write that script" he told me. (never mind his recent divorce, his isolation, excommunicating himself from the church, or his estrangement from the son of his old age)
then my dad related the entire story to the folks who were hosting him. how he had been unjustly fired, cursed with a dire prophecy and how after all these years he had gotten the upper hand. he had showed them. fuckers. afterward they all said in unison...