H missed the memo. Since my dad passed (Deep Denial sometimes drives to Tahoe to snowboard for the first time; we were on our way home), I was holding it together on the outside, but decidedly unraveling on the inside. When a father dies, the daughter remains: alone.
"Don't fucking drive like that!" I yelled, white-knuckled.
He whipped the car into the first parking lot to our right and was out of the driver's seat within four seconds.
"I won't drive your car anymore," flat delivery, gaze averted.
"Perfect," was my riposte, as I swept around the opposite side of the car, Chinese-fire-drill style.
Fire for fire. Match made.
We drove the last mile of our 187-mile trip in silence. I came up with a faux errand to run after dropping him at the curb in front of our house.
It took me days to understand—and express— just how deep it all runs. Loss, abandonment, grief. Oceanic. Bigger than me.
"You see," I explained to him, "I'll need to die first. You're not allowed drive like that BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO DIE."
"I promise," said the man who goes faster on his road bike descents than the cars in his way.
Soon thereafter, he was on a flight to the East Coast just ahead of an epic ice storm.
In the void, there is poetry to remind me how it feels to feel and why I've made the choices I've made.
#liveandlove // separation anxiety
* "For Desire," is Ethan Hawkes' favorite poem. I know this because I read it in the NY Times Book Review.