Thursday, July 28, 2005

How Not To Eat Lunch

I sit looking straight ahead.

His mouth was moving and the expressions on his face meander about to remind me where I got them from. Those somewhat overly pronounced gestures with my hands when I speak about something in detail? That's him. The resigned lines around my eyes that try to produce a smile when there is no reason to? Him again. The way I speak in glee one moment only to have it betray me because of foolish indecision later? Strike three. I'm out.

The topic is about sound. The anatomy of noise. The waveforms and the levels that are assembled midair and translated through the mechanisms of our auditory receptors. For him, a musician of thirty years in the making yet still desperately trying to crack the eggshell, this is good meat. And I provide my attention as well as can be expected. Ironically, those particular thoughts flow through my one ear and out the other. It's normal par for the course whenever I meet with him one on one.

I try to pay attention, with all my might I try. He would say something about how his computer isn't working properly, I would drift off to the coke machine to my left. He would talk about his inability to work with what he has because everything goes out of date so quickly and a delicious fellow walks by with my gaze in tow to take his place in my peripheral vision to the right.

And then a pause. And another. With each pause the distance eats and grows. I'm at the next table, out the door, down the street, in a field far away, in a city on the West Coast, in Milan, in Osaka, at the bottom of the deep blue Trench. If I wait long enough you can come join me on the moon where I hear they've got a wonderfully sharp cheddar.

I wish I could say I'm happy to be around him. I wish I could say that his exhausted face and failing body are something that I will overcome and in turn will help him overcome. But, I am so similar to him its like a hypnosis of fate. Sorrow is a stain that is hard to wash out. I sink into his eyes even more, trying to discern if there is much left to be hopeful for.

We do not speak of decisions that have been made, point fingers on how things are different and how it makes him sad. We travel around the conversation to points of where things are happening and at what time we should make sure to arrive and what in order they will happen... We speak only of details.

My father makes me extremely tired. I have the fewest words to say to him than anyone else that shares my blood. It feels as though each word is a hundred times heavier than what any nonchalant phrase might be.

I sit there and decide it's time to get back to work since lunch has been eaten and disposed of.



Jon said...

Thanks for sharing this. The other day I looked in the mirror and saw my father looking back at me. Scared me silly. That relationship is just one more thing I want to be different.

PinoyFireAngel said...

Don't you think he loves you? In his own way?