One for each year now, for every year that you´ve been gone. One for
every month, every day. One tear for every word, every turn, every time
somebody speaks your name into the silence known as death. I will shed
myself for every time I remember your raw cheek, your unshaven skin,
pressing a kiss against mine. I was a tender child then, I´m a tender
child now. For so long I felt unwanted, just by you. For so
long I was the child who was not the child, the two year old who
rejected you; is such a thing even possible? We were children and you
thought it was fun to almost break our arms; is such a thing even
imaginable? I wasn´t the thing you wanted, nor the thing you needed. Nor
my was my older brother. So far away, so far apart, bound to you by
nothing, no words unspoken. Only memories can remain.
And then we held hands and we went in to see you; the morgue was cold.
My older brother´s hand was warm, but your shoulder was so cold. So
cold. Stiff in your favourite suit, shrunken in your glory, your hair
still astute. And that burning smile on your face. Of the many things
that I have seen it was a truly beautiful one.
I cried for you, once. And the crumb, standing there in the morgue, with
us; he cried all the quiet tears. He cried the anguish, the horror and
the terror. He cried for the loss of a father. And we held him in our
arms, we held his tender light. My younger brother is your son and he is a
thousand times better than you ever were; be proud of him.
I remember you now, the way you´d wanted to be remembered. I remember
your beloved boat, the one your father had owned. How the waves would
brace and slam us, just because you liked the open ocean and the boat
was far too small to handle it. The tumbling and shaking and then the
surrender. Somewhere out there, a haven of voices, three children and
our favourite ice-cream cones. We´d all share a bottle of lemonade and
I´d hate you for taking the first sip because I imagined you spitting
into it. I was always disgusted by you, by your overpowering cologne and
angry clumsiness. You were not my father.
You were not my father, but I see you clearly now. You were not mine,
you were never mine; but now I know your name, now I know
what you were.
You loved my mother until the end; my mother, she who loves no one.
Keeping your end of the bargain, throwing in the towel before the tables
turned, spending most of your grown life teaching an ungrateful little
monster the greatest rhetorics she´d ever know. You were fabulous and
terrifying, and I never hated you for all that I tried; but I might have
loved you a little. Scary, hollow, fearing for yourself and your own
shortcomings. You were an incurable alcoholic, your god but a bottle.
Oh, you, beautiful you. I miss your stupid jokes, witty insights and the
way you understood me. You made me strong, you helped me so much;
though you never knew. I miss you.