Right off the bat I’d like to say it’s good to be back, and if you were expecting ranting and raving about music, politics, Internet policy, law, the riaa, the mpaa or other subjects near and dear to my frigid heart, I’m so very, very sorry. I’ll still do a bit of that here. But for now, I’ll be throwing up (apt perhaps) some of my fiction and semi-autobiographical writing from time to time. Enjoy. And if you do not enjoy, again I’m very, very sorry. Maybe the next one will be better. For now, here’s a bit of what I’ll call an autobiographical fiction mash-up. Once I have about 40 or 50 of these, or when I feel it’s reached it’s logical or illogical conclusion, I’ll slam them together and self-publish. Then audio. After some polish, of course. And corrections. And corrections…
The focus of the next several (25 to 30) posts will be a fictional work. If you find it mildly amusing or entertaining, let me know. Some of it is out of sequence and some of it may remain out of sequence, perhaps with date stamps on the chapter pages.
The Telephone and the Unseen Dance
The phone rang at about 10 PM, much later than he would normally call. I said hello and there was a brief silence, followed by an inhalation.
“He finally left us, Scott. It was yesterday. Sorry to be so abrupt, I went over it for hours before I called and I just couldn’t..” I interrupted..
“It’s okay. It’s okay.”
My voice cracked a bit. I could feel a wave of feeling creeping up from the bottom of my abdomen, like the feeling I experienced having first tried LSD. But this was more, and without any possibility of warmth. It was like a cold wind.
“He was comfortable, Ariel said he just.. seemed like he was drifting off to sleep.” Dan said in his best comforting voice.
“With Ariel we might never know how it really went down” I replied with a hint of anger, realizing how the cold of my rush had slipped into my words, calling my father’s death an “it” and reducing it to far less than it was to me at that moment. Far less than it would be to a stranger who had not even the slightest knowledge of my existence. Dan inhaled and exhaled again audibly.
“Well, that could be true. But if it is, would you even want to know? Is that something you think would help you through this? Knowing his suffering in detail?” Dan asked, with just a slight hint of restrained frustration.
“Would it help? Knowing the truth? Of course not, but when were we promised, ever, that the truth would HELP? I do want to know. His whole life is a mystery to me, the least I could ask for is the details of his death. Something, finally!”
“I know, I know.” Dan said. “I know this .. this is hard for me, too. Are you alone?”
“Is water wet? Any other obvious questions you want answers to, Dan? Would you like to know if the Pope makes a sound in the woods when he shits on a Catholic boy?”
Not a sound on the other end but a few more breaths, saying nothing but conveying another restrained frustration. The kind of thing you can surmise without a word with a friend, even on the phone, when you’ve known him for 20 years. 2o years, that day, felt like a long time for the first time in my life as I tried to clear my mind and say something else. Something, anything about something else. Nothing came up. Then, as always, Dan rescued me.
“You know there’s really no excuse for that. Maybe a shower or two this week, followed by a shave, and the ladies would be flocking to you again. The fact that you haven’t been laid for 3 years now and counting (counting, being emphasized loudly) is not the fault of your looks. It’s almost like it’s a choice you’ve made.” Dan scolded me. “And that humor of yours, as adorable as I find it, isn’t exactly going to make people comfortable.”
“Well, it IS a choice. I wonder if it’s a good choice every day. But by the end of the day, when I find it impossible to sleep and unmotivated to do anything BUT sleep, I remember that it was a good choice. Not bringing some poor woman down with me into that pit. You know I tried that for five years. And I have to say it was so wonderful, that experience. Watching someone vital, energetic, generous and loving turn into a bitter, cold person.”
“Well, honestly she seems to be cold mostly toward you.” Dan snapped back, defending her as he always did. Like a bad old habit.
Then again, without his defenses, we might have ended it all a lot earlier and saved both of us a lot of pain. But is that true? Or did it just give me one or two happy years that I wouldn’t have had otherwise? Hind-sight. I hate that shit. I chuckled a little.
Resulting mash-up license:
Creative Commons-Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic. (link)