Friday, September 04, 2009

I think I need a new nickname...

That could probably use some explaining. It came up in a search earlier. I'm in like hour 20 of working on my last final of the quarter, and I'm listening to a lot of Springsteen. This wasn't intended, just one of those things where I thought about it for a second, and then 20 years later I'd downloaded a bunch of old shows to help me get through the night.

At some point, my dad's favorite song came up. This is no surprise, Bruce played it almost every show. Still, it got me a little saw and since I'm working online, I was wondering if there are any pictures of him on the internet.

This is weird, and something I've never done. I don't keep many pictures, and I've gone to considerable lengths to keep pictures of me form being taken, let alone posted on the internet, but that's a different story. Anyway, my dad was different. He belonged to organizations and did charity work and for years was a township commissioner. So I was surprised when only one picture came up. I was even more surprised when I realized it was for one of my mom's high school reunions. and I just sank in my chair when I saw the picture.

It was late into the cancer. You hear people talk about it sometimes like they'll never forget watching their loved ones shrink away. That it's etched into your mind the way they just vanish so slowly. That's entirely true. It's long and shitty and you hate yourself for making the faces you make when you see them.

But what you never really hear about is what happens afterward. Or at least I didn't ever hear about it. Almost immediately, my memory just skipped over itself and the image of my father as this frail, fading man was practically gone. Almost as if by elastic, my mental image of him snapped back to the way he appeared my whole life before then. I can picture him with beard, without, whatever. Just there, you know? Actually tangible and not a whisper of the man who raised me. Of course, this is a good thing. I'm going to remember him the best way I can, and that hardly includes when he could barely speak from the pain. I guess this is some sort of cosmic right that allows people to cope easier. I'm grateful for it.

So seeing this picture was a blow for me. I haven't seen many of them, because frankly it's too fucking hard. The mercy of not seeing him like that was suddenly robbed of me for a few more minutes.

and I started to think about how unfair it is that it someone who didn't know him were to start looking for a picture of him right now, that's what would show up. It really upset me. Of course, he wouldn't care, and I'm not sure I should. But still, I m going to.

I have to get back to work, though. I cannot stop and think about this now, but I promise that first thing tomorrow I'm going to put up a better picture of him and then tag the hell out of it so that maybe google image won't be such a dick about things.

Anyway, that's all I got. Back to work. My dad would be pissed if he knew I put this stuff down for a half hour.

Anyway, cheerier stuff to come, I promise.


Carrie said...

I think he would be proud of you Cotton.

Jonathan said...

Proud indeed "Razorblade".

BTW...there is a great pic of him for the PA lax HOF.