Wednesday, February 1, 2017
He is late. It's five o'clock, and the stars are still out. It's cold on this first day of February. I am waiting for my son. He needs a lift to the airport. He's going back to Guatemala to finish something he needs to finish before he can move on his life he says. It's a love thing. God help him. I wish I could finish such things. At the last minute, he calls. He can't find his itinerary. He's anxious, jumbled up in his head, broken-hearted, possessed. He is also out if work, has dropped his classes, and lost his apartment. I wait for him in the truck, engine idling, and listen absently to NPR voices way too perky for the early hour. He arrives in a flurry of exasperation and loads his sad, oversized suitcase into the bed of the truck. He sits next to me in the dark and we drive through the sleeping city. He says, again, how he should have done things differently. I tell him the past is done. He needs to get on with his life and that this, this crazy trip to Central America to regain the footing of his life is what he wants to do, more than anything. I tell him that he has to remember that, has to remember that soon enough our lives will be over, and that there will be nothing left behind but what we did that was true, honest, and good. I tell him I think he is doing that. I am his father. I love him, but don't quite know what else to say. When I leave him there at the curb, I look at him as I drive away, in the mirror, as he turns to step into the rest of his life.