Friday, February 01, 2008

His wrinkles only serve to make him appear relaxed

We lived under the same roof for eighteen years, but I can't recall my dad ever asking me a question. I realize now that I, too, have not been one for inquisition. When I conjure his image I imagine him looking older than I know he does, every time. I presume he does not have dreams at night and had little interest in music growing up. His father's name was unknown to me until I found a census document dated 1930. They share the same name. I've seen a couple pictures of my grandfather taken when he was in his twenties. One picture shows him sitting cross-legged in a lawn-chair by some water. He is barefooted and the resemblance with my dad's feet is striking. He died young from a brain tumor, of which my dad is a survivor. My dad was a plasterer for about three decades. He would come home covered in stucco and take a shower, washing himself with vinegar. Now he works in a warehouse the size of God itself selling buckets of paint. When I was young my he would sometimes have me scratch his back and afterwards I would notice that I had his skin under my fingernails. My old man's a good father and a complete mystery to me.

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