Hold Me, Daddy


From the first time he picked me up in those massive arms to as recently as twenty minutes ago, when I think of my dad I think of a man who was always in motion. When he sat still for too long his disappointments would catch up with him so it was a matter of survival. I get that now. He needed a wide variety of distractions— places to go, people to see, lawns to cut, cars to wash, groceries to buy. He didn’t want those missteps that haunt you during the lonely time of night to take over his waking hours, too. Those memories that keep you tossing and turning. The raw deals, the tough breaks, the woulda-coulda-shouldas that Arthur Miller wrote his everyman plays about. And I get that now. I didn’t get it then but I do now. And lately, when I look in the mirror, I see my dad. I hear his voice come out of my mouth when I speak. Afterwards I say, “Christ, I sounded just like my dad.” They said it would happen and it’s happened. I can’t shake him. There is no escaping him. And I’m okay with that. I never wanted him to let me go. I wanted him to hold me forever.

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