Added: Padraic Mong - Date: 10.12.2021 10:11 - Views: 14831 - Clicks: 7775
Something about a car running over a policeman and a second officer being injured. The plan is to hang out for a while, and then drive to the Sea Section, our house on Emerald Isle. Dad is in his wheelchair, dressed and groomed for our visit. Hair combed. Real shoes on his feet. As a non-blood relative, that seems to be his role during our visits to Springmoor—the servant.
Neither Amy nor I care about the news anymore, at least the political news. To be less than vigilant was to fall behind, and was there anything worse than not knowing what Stephen Miller just said about Wisconsin? My friend Mike likened this constant monitoring to having a second job. It was exhausting, and the moment that Joe Biden was sworn into office I let it all go. When the new President speaks, I feel the way I do on a plane when the pilot announces that after reaching our cruising altitude he will head due north, or take a left at Lake Erie.
Just, you know, do it. I still browse the dailies, skipping over the stories about Covidas I am finished with all that as well. The moment I got my first vaccine shot, I started thinking of the coronavirus the way I think of scurvy—something from a long-ago time that can no longer hurt me, something that mainly pirates get. This Christmas?
A year from now?
What if our next pandemic is worse than this one? What if it forces everyone to live underground and subsist on earthworms? My father tested positive for the coronavirus shortly before Christmas, at around the time he started wheeling himself to the front desk at Springmoor and asking if anyone there had seen his mother.
Every time the phone rang, I expected to hear that he had died. But my father recovered. When I ask him what it was like to have covidhe offers a false-sounding laugh. That was on Halloween. A few days after we saw him, Springmoor was locked down. No one allowed in or out except staff, and all the residents confined to their rooms. Hugh has finally found a jazz station, and managed to tune out the static. Your birthday is on Monday and today is only Friday.
Amy has brought my father some chocolate turtles, and as he watches she opens the box, then hands him one. I used to be the king of clutter. It is a foot and a half tall, and made of plastic. Naked it might be O. My father is thinner than the last time I saw him, but somehow his face is fuller. The eyes? The mouth? He turns from me to Hugh, and then to Amy. All of you do. I pick up a salmon carved out of something hard and porous, an antler maybe.
It used to be in his basement office at the house. This was before he turned every room into an office, and buried himself in envelopes. At first, I take this as a non sequitur. I really like this new version of my father. As far back as I can remember.
Most of that laughter had been directed at him, and erupted the moment he left whichever room the rest of us were occupying. A Merriment Club member he definitely was not.
But I like that he remembers things differently. Even the kids I used to roller-skate with, they come by sometimes. Amy fetches some toilet paper from the bathroom, and he sits passively as she cleans him off. She takes a step back so that he can see her black-and-white polka-dot shift. Over it is a Japanese denim shirt with coaster-size smiley-face patches running up and down the sleeves.
Whenever Happy go lucky guy looking for a woman who enjoys life conversation stalls, he turns it back to one of several subjects, the first being the inexpensive guitar he bought me when I was and insisted on bringing with him to Springmoor, this after it had sat neglected in a closet for more than half a century.
It seems to me that all he has is time. What else is there to do here, shut up in his room? As he shakes his fist in frustration, I notice that he still has some chocolate beneath his thumbnail. His second go-to topic is the art work hanging on his walls, most of it bought by him and my mother in the seventies and early eighties. Two of the paintings in the room are by my father, done in the late sixties. His art phase came from nowhere, and, during its brief, six-month span, he was prolific, churning out twenty or so canvases, most done with a palette knife rather than a brush.
The problem was what to paint, or, in his case, to copy. Some of his choices were questionable—a stagecoach silhouetted against a tangerine-colored sunset comes to mind—but in retrospect they fit right in with the rest of the house.
Back in the seventies, we thought of our color scheme as permanently modern. What could replace all that orange and brown and avocado? When Dad retired from I. He had been an engineer, but he was an art lover. The best of them were made by tribes in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, bought on fly-fishing trips. A few others are African or Mexican. They used to leer down from the panelled wall above the staircase in our house, and it is Happy go lucky guy looking for a woman who enjoys life but not unpleasant to see them in this new setting.
There are the neighbors, and then there is Dad—Dad who is listening to Eric Dolphy and holding the guitar he has never in his life played. Before his mind started failing, my father consumed a steady diet of Fox News and conservative talk radio that kept him at a constant boiling point. Now, though, our father has taken a few steps back, and, like me, seems all the better for it.
My father nods. I believed what he was telling us. And, well, it seems that I was wrong. That guy was bad news. Sedaris down. Again the incident at the Capitol. Some people hit by a car, someone shot. The dining room, which fits maybe six tables, is full when we arrive.
Women greatly out men, and no one except for us and the staff is ambulatory. The air should smell like food, but instead it smells like Amy, her perfume. That said, I like it. A combination of five different scents, none of which is flowery or particularly sweet, it leaves her smelling like a strange cookie, maybe one with pencil shavings in it. While Amy and Hugh talk to an aide, my father looks up and pats the space beside him at the table.
They can make you anything you want. They were delivered over the phone at the end of a casual conversation. For our natures, I have just recently learned from my father, can change. Fly to Raleigh. See Dad. Maybe have a picnic in his room. Lisa will be there, too, and our brother, Paul. What do you all have planned for the rest of the afternoon? David Sedaris has contributed to The New Yorker since e-mail address.Happy go lucky guy looking for a woman who enjoys life
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Definition of 'happy-go-lucky'