Here until you’re ready

I lost my father this time last year

My father was supposed to teach the kid how to make sushi.

He was supposed to teach him Chinese and Japanese.

He was supposed to explain pi to him.

He was supposed to show him how to make eggs.

And he was supposed to show me stuff too. He was supposed to tell me how to be a good father.

I have an indescribable hole in my person, not having him or Alison here to help me with the boy. It’s like a Schrödinger’s cat paradox: I’ll never know who the boy woulda been in the presence of them, with their influence. Nor will I know what kinda father I woulda been with them here.

When you take someone away, you’re never the same person that you woulda been if they were there.

It’s a feeling of despairing empty grief that I can only describe like this: Imagine you spent the day making dinner for someone you love. All that excitement and preparation. They’re late. And then you get a phone call that starts, “Mr. Lo? I’m calling about your father. I’m sorry, but…”

Except it’s every moment of every day, twice as bad after dusk, and exponentially more on the 24th. That’s the day I lock myself in my apartment alone and put on my real face. The one the boy’s never seen.

They were both supposed to be here, Alison and my dad. Nuthin is like it was supposed to be. All our beautiful plans

I miss my dad. I miss my family. I made this goddamn dinner and no one’s here for it.

I wasn’t ready.

Fuck all, I’m never ready.

Me: (running in) What’s wrong?
Him: (quietly) I want papa.
Me: Are you afraid?
Him: (nods)
Me: (lying down next to crib) Don’t be afraid, Nate. I’m here. (sticks hand into crib, boy takes it) I’ll stay here until you fall asleep, ok?
Him: OK, papa. (closes eyes)
Me: (on the floor) Life is sweet, in spite of the misery. I’m here. And I’ll be here until you’re ready.

Location: with a large glass of mint-flavored whiskey thanks to the day and yet another scare. It’s always something.
Mood: hollowed
Music: It’s a crying shame. Who pulled you down again?
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