So, maybe you saw my twitter fit on Friday night. If you didn’t, all you really need to know is that I came unglued. After I stopped tweeting, I started sobbing and hyperventilating and just losing my shit in general. I called my sister, and she talked to me for awhile. I went to bed.
The next morning, my Dad called. He said two sentences. “Are you ready for some company?” and when I replied in the affirmative, “I will be there in ten to twelve hours”.
Twelve hours after we had that conversation, he was sitting on my porch with me. We were up till 3am, drinking and talking and drinking and talking. I laid my soul bare, telling him stories he never heard, hurts never admitted, fears unspoken. All of my pain and hurt and bewilderment spilled out of me in a steady stream. I listed off my frustrations- simple things, like learning how to use the grill, what’s wrong with the toilet that won’t stop running, and if my internets don’t get fixed soon I’m going to break out into hives.
Over the next few days, he fixed things and cleaned things and taught me things and made lists for me. He showed me how to grill a steak- the way I eat steak (rare medium rare), and not the way he likes steak (shoe sole). The internet connection problem meant him crawling up into my attic (not the greatest place in the world) through a trapdoor in the closet ceiling not once, not twice, but six times to get everything working properly with the best signal possible. He cleaned all the windows in the house and my car.
As we worked on all of this, he helped me sort through all the anguish I laid at his feet that first night. It was something that only he could have done- at least just the way he did it. We’re so much alike, and he knows me so well. His words held a weight and a meaning above and beyond any other person’s, simply because he has a better understanding of the dark corners of my heart.
This morning, we left at the same time. I left to come to work, to do the closing, to go to class- to be me and do what I have to do. He left to drive twelve hours home, to his wife (who was NOT. PLEASED. with this impromptu visit), so that tomorrow he can take her to have her blood drawn and Thursday he can take her to her chemotherapy treatment. He left to be him and do what he has to do. He followed me out to the gas station, we each got a cup of coffee and said our goodbyes in the parking lot. He turned on to I-40 West, and I turned on to I-40 East, both headed towards lives and destinies of our own.
The tears slipped quietly down my cheeks, much like the soft rain running down my windshield. I know that he has to go. I know that Mom needs him, that he is hers, and I know that I have to accept the new order of things. That everyone who tries to fix my weedwacker or takes trash to the dump for me or fixes my lawnmower is just helping out where they can. I am alone. I have to accept that position and become comfortable with it. Deciding what to attempt myself, what to hire someone for, when to ask for help and who to ask, and what to do if they tell me to fuck off and leave them alone.
I think that was why I needed him so desperately- I find it unbearably hard to borrow my friends’ husbands and boyfriends, to ask them to take on the littlest thing for me. I am not their responsibility. It would be far too easy to depend too much on Daddy if he were close enough. That wouldn’t be good for me, and it probably wouldn’t be good for him. It wouldn’t be good for Mom either, but that’s in the “pro” column, if you ask me.
So I will walk down the road in front of me, my steps a little lighter for having some of the obstacles in that road moved out of my way, but mostly for knowing that someone in this world knows how it feels to be me.
Let me run with you tonight I'll take you on a moonlight ride There's someone I used to see But she don't give a damn for me And turn the radio loud, I'm too alone to be proud You don't know how it feels You don't know how it feels to be me People come, people go Some grow young, some grow cold I woke up in between A memory and a dream And you don't know how it feels You don't know how it feels to be me My old man was born to rock He's still tryin' to beat the clock Think of me what you will I've got a little space to fillAnd you don't know how it feels You don't know how it feels No, you don't know how it feels to be me