Father’s Day 2016

I was a Cub Scout once.
And we made an owl. A wood cut out and feathers fashioned with a ball peen hammer. And paint and bottle caps.  And I liked it. It was for my dad.
But my dad wasn’t coming. I saw very little of him. So when I was done… I was done.
And it seemed a little messed up.
I just wanted to leave it there… at Mrs. Rosada’s house.
Maybe one of the other guys could give it to his dad.
But no, I had to bring it home.
And so I gave it to Uncle Bill. And I know know if he liked it or not.
Or if it made him uncomfortable. Because it made me sad.
But I had a lot of Father’s Days that seemed sad.
It was like this day was made up just to make me feel sad.

There is a song in the distance that was sung but not heard.
There is a streak of color, and in the heat, a bitter wind.
And there are hills of yellow brown grass waiting to burn again.

It is another Father’s Day. And I am here alone.
And I don’t like it. I’m feeling sad all the time now.
There is a lot I don’t like. And I don’t say much about it.
And this is how my summers go. Today, and tomorrow and every year since my son died.
And I can’t even say if I would have even be spending much time with Ethan now…
He’d be 22 and off on his own. Probably not hanging out with me.
I don’t hear the music playing on the radio and I don’t see the road sometimes. I just drive.
And I don’t want to be alone.
And I don’t want anyone around.
But I will have a good time tomorrow… with my people.
But it still seems like another day that was designed to make me sad.

And when the heat rises they talk about records falling. Hottest day ever.
The air dries out and this thin coating of dust coats every surface.
And far away someone sings a song that I can’t hear. Not now. Not right now.

I can’t seem to hang out for more than a few hours before it seems like too much.
And I don’t want to be alone for more than a few hours.
I don’t want to talk or listen or explain or be anything right now.
I can try to describe the struggle. But it makes me sound crazy.
And I try to say nothing… but that doesn’t really work.

I got to get up off the couch and stop eating junk. And lose some of the 20 pounds that I have gained since Ethan died.
So I got this letter back from my blood test and my blood sugar is high a little.
My liver is fatty. My LDL cholesterol is high a little, so the ratio is off.
So I have to get serious about working out and eating right.
And I have to care.
But the thing is, much of the time I just don’t.
It is just one of those things. That I don’t always want to be here or there or anywhere.
And when I think about a living another year, living another decade or another…
I can’t. I can’t see that far… really.

So tomorrow is Father’s Day. And I hope it is a good one.
I will celebrate. And let others be happy.
And maybe someday it won’t feel like a bad joke.

And somewhere out there is a wooden owl with dents from a ball peen hammer for feathers and bottle caps for eyes.
I made it for my father.
Years ago.


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