Friday, December 9, 2016
Requiem for The Bear
He made the mistake that all fathers make: he was born human. He had work to do, wars to fight, didn't know what I needed him to know. He loved cars, so I went whole hog into bicycles. He was a spit and polish military man, crew-cut and rigid. I went to the university, grew my hair, and fell into a vortex of confusion and indecision. I was Hamlet playing off of his Fortinbras. He radiated life force in a blinding dose, like a siren, and drew people to him. He acted before thinking things through. I pressed the pause button and never turned it off. He was a big fish in small pond, City Council, School Board, Norwegian Dancers, fancy cars. I shopped at Goodwill and blended into the background. He marched to war. I marched to survival gatherings. We were both addicted to sex. He wore shoes that did not fit because they were a good deal. I spent two weeks wages on cycling shoes made of Italian leather. He drank hot water. I drown in coffee. More than anything he loved his family, immediate and extended. I ran away from familiars and craved solitude. We found common ground on skis, hiking Long's Peak. I wake to being human and make the mistakes that all fathers make. I accept what he was able to give, what he had to withhold. I wish he were here to tell how full I have become because of him and all he could and could not say. I inherit his demons and keep them close to my own blind and stumbling secrets.