the result of a lounge chair on a runway, wrestling shoes and maxx.
my morning was spent in a gray shroud.
i will explain;
it engulfed my car and stretched ahead of it onto the BQE, belt parkway and onto the verrazano bridge; across the staten island expressway to the new jersey turnpike, then all the way down to the final exits in south jersey where “the farm” was, but that’s another story.
this was because;
the plan was to look in on a stranger who used to be my “original-equipment father,” a term i use when speaking about my natural father. he did the “going out for groceries” disappearing act when i was three. i would be raised by a stepfather who has been and remains my father for 53 years.
but this is about the other guy. the one who looks, walks and talks just like me and who, up until last week, had lain comfortably in a field of dementia – up and to the left of the field of ambrosia you might find yourself walking through in any dreamscape or afternoon reverie.
about fifteen years ago (when well into my 40’s), he – my “oef” (original equipment father) – contacted me and asked if we could meet. i said yes, but demanded we did this in a neutral city.
was i still a little angry? maybe. it could have been more along the lines of wanting the option of the “quick get away,” if not impressed with what he had to say.
i took amtrak to philadelphia, met him at the station and went to an italian restaurant to begin the task of hashing out a relationship or something.
the last time he tried this (back in the 1980’s), his agenda was to put me into a restaurant and have me make money for him. i played coy and hustled him into co-signing a bank loan (from a bank that might have had questionable banking practices – imagine that!) and burned him on the whole deal, making me a minor hero to my mother and brothers as the only family member who got even with him for stiffing us on child support.
it might also be mentioned that with this money, i would purchase a 1968 candy-apple-red mustang convertible with a white top and a few months later, go to jail in a tuxedo when defending its ownership.
there might be a lesson regarding “ill-gotten gains” in that…or not. luck or karma is a crapshot.
everything’s a crapshot.
i always look for the green-felt that i believe lies under this reality.
so now, here in the 21st century, i visit my “original-equipment-father,” who became my friend, to await his departure from this mortal coil.
he doesn’t know or recognize me anymore.
he spends his time wrapped-up in hallucinations that play out before him like he’s at a drive-in movie.
when i walk up to the bed, he reaches out idly and grabs my hand, holding it or parts thereof; a finger or three, a thumb; fanned-out metacarpals, the flip-side of the palm, his searching fingers reminding me of the ill-fused bone that connects to my left pinky, a victim of a 1970’s barroom brawl….his hands search and feel and grasp like a newborn; an 86 year-old newborn.
this will end as everything does, not for good or ill; just for its end.
he slept, drifting into the analogue TV screen that i always talk about, returning to its atoms, new and old, “hello, how are you?”…, his nametag saying “hello, my name is….gee, it sure used to matter….back when i was more matter than this……not that anything at this point matters at all…,” and so these thoughts might glitt and skitter, vrrrooom and flash, skitch and vvlingg; sounds i make up and others you make up – it’s all ok, it’s all galactically correct beneath the whispered hush, the lovesong just before the death rattle.
my “oef” left quietly. i wished him well.
i inventory my current “ends”.
these “ends” happen all the time.
these ends begin here or there or even the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension.