I waited my whole life for him.
But expecting good things out of my Father was like waiting for rain in the desert.
It wasn't until I turned twenty-two that I realized I was going to die of thirst. So I turned my back on him, the man who forever promised water. I shamed him so thoroughly that he wiped himself from the map, destroyed every road that might lead him back. With him gone, I drank up everything around me. I nearly drowned in the pursuit of something more. I eventually found it, that fullness I craved. But it didn't stop me from thinking about him, wondering...
Was he the one waiting now?
Monday: The story of what happened on the last night I saw my Dad. Until then, some happy memories of him.
UPDATE: Post can be found here.
No More Meat: I was barely three when my Dad started working at the steel mill. He was proud of that job. It was the first decent one he'd had since going to jail. He talked about that place long after he got fired. About the man who lost his face in some freak accident, and the numerous fingers that went missing in the machinery. The thing I'll always associate with that place though is a McDonald's pancake breakfast. It had to do with one of my Dad's favorite stories.
He was taking me to the steel mill one morning so he could pick up his check. It was out in the country somewhere, so he stopped for breakfast on the way. We were halfway to the mill when he looked over at my syrupy face and saw that I'd eaten all my sausage. "No more meat, Daddy." I said sadly. "You ate it all, sweetie." He replied. I threw my hands up in the air as if to say "I don't know where it went" and started to cry. He told me he'd get me more once we were back in town. It wasn't like me to cry. "No more meat?" I sniffled. "No, baby."
He said I didn't make another peep, I just sat there looking at my empty plate. So my Dad did the only thing he could think to do. He pulled the truck around and drove all the way back into town. He always liked to end the story with, "So I got you a stack of sausage this big!" His hands would be about a foot apart, although the size grew with each telling. "Did I eat it all?" I would ask. "I can't remember," he would say. Because it didn't matter. I had won his heart that day.
Little Foreman: Growing up, my Dad owned a fence company. I used to love to watch him work. First he would measure the yard. Then he would set the string. He or one of his workers would come in and dig holes. Another person would set the posts and cement them in. My job was always to make sure they were level at the end. In the meantime, I would sit on the piles of wood or metal and color. Every once in awhile my Dad would go off to get lunch and leave me in charge.
I'm sure it was a sight, a kid no older than eight giving orders to full grown men. The guys loved it. They were like family. "Faster!" I would shout as they moved supplies. "Make sure that's straight!" "Yes foreman," they would reply. Then my Dad would come back and ask me in the most serious tone, "Were the men well behaved?" With a straight face I would tell him that they were (or weren't depending on my mood). It was the best job I've ever had.
UPDATE: Twisted (Tink) has been updated with its final revised chapter, "Strange Coincidences." From here on out, everything will be new! About damn time, huh? For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, "Twisted" is a side project/story I've been working on for over a year now. You should go check it out. Let me know what you think. Comments, critiques, and kudos are always welcome. Tomato throwing is not.
P.S. Don't forget, the WWC words for this weekend are CHANGE and COLOR.
Have a fantastic weekend!