When I was seventeen, I was left to stay home with my dad for four months against my will. My mom was in Florida assisting my grandmother with a knee surgery. I would have gone with her if I didn’t have school.
One night, on the ride home from my four-hour work shift at Pier 1, I told my dad that I loved seeing the autumn leaves on the ground.
“You know, when I was about six or seven,” he started, and I turned my head to watch his face become illuminated with the headlights of passing cars. I thought to myself, I have never heard a story from Pop’s childhood, and he talked about using the gutter leaves as a roof for the war bunker he and his brother imagined in the sewer. I wanted to ask him to tell me more.
What was your mother like; did you cry when she died? Why don’t you ever talk to Uncle John; why have I only met him once? What else would you imagine when you were little? I will remember that car ride as long as I have a memory. It was the only time I ever felt like my dad could feel.