Saturday, October 08, 2005

The visit ends, I'm getting older.

Scene: Dad and I driving around GradShitTownVille on the last day of his visit. We're on an "outing," as he likes to call it, which is nothing more than running errands and getting lunch.

Dad: I can't believe the number of bugs in this place. All kinds of bugs that bite the shit out of you. I hate them one kind, they're so small they look like a speck of dirt, but then are biting the shit out of you. How can something so small have such a big mouth? It would be like you biting a watermelon.

* * *

Scene: Dad is collecting and organizing his two months of bargain collecting, tool aquisition, and general knick knacks. He hands me a stack of CDs.

Dad: Hey, look at all these CDs I just got at Salvation Army!

Me: rummaging. Um, don't you already have this La Bouche CD?

Dad: Yeah, but it's really good, and I wanted a copy for here.

* * *

I just got back from the Big City, dropping dad off at the major airport. By now, he's somewhere in Seattle, making his way back to Oregon. Just like I always do, I cried after he rounded the corner at the security check-point, for it is his presence that makes GradTownShitVille almost bearable.

In the moment that I dried my tears, I saw my life modeled a finite number of events. I now have one less time that I will say goodbye to my father at an airport. While I may have not aged in the past two months during his visit, I certainly did in that moment of realization. I guess that's perfect timing, since next week I will turn 29.

I am not glad to turn 29. I would much rather skip my birthday this year, skipping all my birthdays until I've left GradShitTownVille. I think of the quote I posted from Carson McCullers a few weeks back. I think of how Frankie modeled her life in three layers, in which the present layer was very thin, for she was about to embark on a new life.

My own present layer is sweaty, greasy and thick, filled with old events spanning my present that is simply graduate schol. There is no grand future to which I can look forward, for my future is distant and unknown. Will I graduate? Will I give up? Will I ever get my dream job? Instead, I remain mired in my present layer, filled with frustrating meetings, gender battles, long-acting beta agonists, humidity, and snow.

Bye Dad. Come back soon.


shannon said...

From the sounds of it, and knowing what I know about your Dad, he'll be back in GradTownShitVille before you know it. I thought it sweet that he wanted to get a copy of a cd he enjoys for when he's with you. It makes sense really, to have a copy at his second home.

It's tough to watch our lives pass us. The trick is to live the lives we have instead of watching from the sidelines. It's a tough thing to remember at times. To quote one of my favorite on screen ladies "You've got to live, Live, LIVE!" Auntie Mame.

Hang tight my friend, because with that one less time of saying goodbye to Dad at the airport you are forgetting that it's one less time of saying goodbye at that particular airport! Before you know it you will be saying see you later at his front door as you make your way back to your home here in Portland.

RussianViolets said...

I'm glad that you got to see him and spend time with him. And hugs to you and your tears.