You learn something when your estranged father passes. It’s like losing sight of something from your peripheral – you understand that something is missing in your field of vision, but you can’t place just what it is. And the more you look around, the more you realize its absence. The more you begin to comprehend that this random item in your life meant more to you than you were willing to admit.
I think about my father more these days than in the years before his death. He remained in the edges of my life – estranged, always there, but never present. In those days, there was an option to reach out and grow a relationship. Though, there is little regret in the way I handled our relationship – it was a two-way street after all.
There isn’t a doubt in mind that my life might have taken a different path had my father just tried a little harder. Or if I had in my adult years. However, it’s a life I cannot envision. Javier may have not been the best father figure in my childhood, but I will no longer dwell on that. Why mourn what I never had instead of being grateful for the days I did?
I made a conscious decision scheduling this post for the tail-end of Pride Month. For starters, today is Pride Day. It just seemed appropriate for the post. I chose today because it feels that everyone makes the bigger deal at the beginning of June. That’s when we see the most corporate marketing for Pride. That’s when we see influencers beating their chests about how much an ally they are. As the month winds down, people who aren’t a part of the community just stop caring. There’s no financial gain to it.
With that said, this is not the original intro to this post. The original intro consisted of a story of a friend coming out to me. While I kept that friend’s name secret, I nonetheless began to have second thoughts. I only have so many friends and it wouldn’t take too much a detective to figure out who I was talking about. While I know this friend’s family is fully aware, I don’t know where our mutual friends stand.
In short, while this story does contain me as a character, it is not my story to tell. Most of the post remains the same. The ending has been altered to because it tied back to the introduction.
For the sake of my mental health, I decided to go for walks. This isn’t a new thing for me; in the past, it was what I did almost every day after work. It started off as something more serious – I’d walk and began pushing myself further until it was a sprint, a job, a run.
These days though, I walk in hopes to build some strength back in my lungs.
For those wondering, people-watching is essential to creative writing – be it fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Jose Skinner taught me of its importance, though it had been a pastime of mine for some time.
When you observe your surroundings with a creative eye, you register things that would otherwise be overlooked. The way a young wife moves away from her husband when he sits next to her. Or how a child darts across the street while his mother scrolls across the screen of phone. Or the mannerisms of a young couple.
They paid no mind to the scent of rain that lingered in the air; they were more focused on studying each others smile. The groove between their hands, their teeth. With the first drops, she pulled him into the open space. They wrapped their arms around each other.
It took me back to a moment in life. One taken for granted. When a girl pulled me outside to kiss in the rain.
Did you ever believe that you’d live this long? As a child, we used to map out our futures. What we’d be like as teenagers. In our twentysomethings, batting away quarter-life crises. And we’d imagine being 32. Then it was just dark, unplanned. Nothing lay beyond its horizon. It is uncertainty whether we thought our story came to a halt at 32, or if our imagination was limited. This Saturday, we will meet for the first time and we will have outlived our expectation by six years.
I watched the Inauguration of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr from a small window on my laptop while I manned the controls of a Zoom call. While I don’t see President Biden as some savior, seeing a person who can hold a coherent thought did give me a twinge of hope – no matter how small – for this country again. In the first hours of presidency, Biden began overturning Trump’s bigoted legacy. Whispers of the impending impeachment of former President Donald J. Trump littered the pundits’ commentaries as they covered the Inauguration. While this is the only action to take on the former president, January 20, 2021 was a day meant to celebrate the transition of power from one president to the next; however, Trump and family decided to leave with their tails between their legs and not attend the event.
Some things are better left to the pages for my personal journal. And while I might hint to some of the more “tragic” aspects of my life on this blog, there is little to no room for the especially devastating.