The world is a different place when someone that loves you dies. This is crazy to me: Next time I land in Alabama, my father will not come to see me.
There was a comfort in the fact that my father was out in the world, doing the things that he does. All my life, I knew he was out there, somewhere, laughing. He was out there working on a house. He was turning a curse word into taffy, sheeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. He was assuming that I was okay but not actually checking. He was at Krystal’s with his morning crew. He was somewhere, out there, not calling on my birthday.
And now he is not out there. He is not anywhere.
I have told you about all the times he stood me up as a kid. But he has never, ever failed to see me for the past 20 years.
He ALWAYS came to see you, with a toy in his hand that he was really hoping that you would love.
I am left wondering what is the worst that could have happened if I had let go of my private punishment? If I’d ambushed him with the daughter that I wanted to be, would that have made him the father that I wanted?
Maybe. Or I could have been disappointed again. Is that the worst thing in the world? Or is this?
But I’m okay with my decisions regarding your grandfather. I did the best I could with what I felt. My instinct was to protect myself from further damage and that is what I did. Making a fist meant that no one could hurt me, but no one could take my hand, either.
What I was right about, was mourning the daughter that I could have been. But I didn’t realize how sad I would be to see her go.
Your grandfather, Joe Steele is still a contact in my phone.
I am still in his, I’m sure. Not in the highfalutin’ HTC I bought him. He couldn’t figure out how to work it, even after consulting with Laptop.
Laptop is my father’s friend, not an actual laptop, by the way.
When Laptop couldn’t fix it, your grandfather demanded that your Uncle Eric bring him his ancient Cingular flip phone piece of crap and that is what he used.
The last time I saw that phone, was in his bedroom on his dresser. I am supposed to call the phone company and turn it off. But I haven’t.
I can still make it ring.