taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

When my father died four years ago, he left me only a ring and a box full of papers. The box, bursting at its seams and damp on the bottom, I took to my basement and left there; the ring I still wear.

I didn't have a breakdown or anything when my father died--well, maybe the usual crying and gnashing of teeth, the endless bowls of spaghetti at midnight, the falling-asleep-with-a-business-suit-on kind of thing. That lasted maybe six months. When we moved into our new house I imagined I'd get over it all, that the light on the walls of my very own house would cure me or maybe even bring me closer to this disembodied force I thought my dad was. My dad was disembodied even when he was alive, anyway, so imagining that he existed in light on the walls or in the soup or whatever was not so far-fetched.

But in fact it's gotten worse. I function better, sure, but I miss him more. I'd like to go have lunch with him. I'd like to hear some stories. It seems like I didn't find out enough when he was alive. I wasn't really capable of understanding anything he told me.

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