July 4, 2014: Enjoying hot days with moments of silence.

I don’t think that curling up in a ball and crying all day, every day was ever an option. But actually right now, I have the luxury to take time to do that if I wish. Life is good, however. And so I walk the dog… and work on building her a fence.

Today is the 4th of July. And we will grill meat and corn and talk and laugh with friends. And I will miss you.

I am writing less. I think about writing… about poetry and the rhythm of language. And I listen to the conversation of strangers at the next table and think about writing it into my next poem… or I watch in the darkness of an expensive restaurant the patrons, each on a smart phone over their sushi… and I think about including that image. And I think about what you would like or say…

Your absence is always with me and I am reminded of it frequently. I think of you every hour… and there are hundreds of little things scattered around my world that will remind me of you… and of your absence… every day, each hour…

Yesterday, Marquita and I finally went on the Palm Springs tram. We’ve wanted to do it for a while… and it reminded me that we wanted to do this with you, but never got the chance. When we had the time, during the Old Fire, we had no money. And then life just took the years one moment at a time… It wasn’t a priority.

At lunch, I imagine you would have ordered something very expensive.

And we walked into the Crazy Shirts store and saw Sharka sitting there… plush toys and T-Shirts… even a pink plush toy… and I thought of you again. And during the street fair.

It is like that all the time. Moments of sadness. And I don’t usually break out in tears… sometimes, I catch myself letting out one of those long breaths… a sigh– or staring off. I lose a moment and catch my breath. And I go on and enjoy the day, the hot sun, the pavement, the ride up the cables and walk in the cooler mountain air, the pasta with the yellow sauce, the fusion sushi restaurant…

And there are songs I still can’t listen to without getting very very sad. And if I am alone I allow myself a good cry. But I don’t have to drag everyone into that little well of grief at that moment.

I’m still cussing idiots out in chat rooms and on Facebook and I am not sure why, but I will certainly blame you. It isn’t even that I am frustrated or angry at the time. I can see that it is somehow funny… but I can almost hear your voice, “Dad, he’s being a fucking idiot, what a dick.” And so I feel like I have to…

So street fairs go on…and artists try to sell paintings. Heat rises from that pavement long after the sun goes down. The tram goes up and down the mountain. People eat sushi with bacon and avocado while texting in the dark. And we drive home… Marquita at the wheel of her blue jeep, and me dozing in the passenger seat.


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