Monday, August 28, 2006

Lift

I miss my parents. The ones that knew everything, the ones that had everything, the ones that promised that I could do anything…

I miss their hologrammed selves. From holidays, and my mother’s pumps and her billowing scarves. My father’s cigars and his work gloves still studded with chips of wood from the pile he’d hauled in for the fire. When parents and Santa wrapped the presents with metallic bows, and the dishes plated, then cleared themselves. When the silverware sparkled without tarnish and red wool coats and black velvet buttons meant everything.

The yellow bus, the orange pumpkins, kicking in the backseats, blaming the ice cream spill on my brother before he was old enough to defend himself, back when a thin seam of drool held him to his blue bibbers. Camp, the pickle jars, kickball, collages taped to the walls and funny, half-glazed sculptures aligned the shelves of their offices. The annual block party crawfish cookout under the pavilion, near the rocks, littered with green and amber bottle glass.

I miss their lectures, before I thought they had merit. Back when it was white noise and I rolled my eyes as I scanned a magazine…

In terms of the importance etiquette (proper thank yous, phone manner and which is the fish fork), first impressions (don’t lick your lips too much and always shake a hand firm), and that even creatives can’t look like ragamuffins and be respected (they must earn it like the rest of us)…Mom was right.

In terms of reading everyday (the bigger, the more boring, the better), limiting television (it does rot your brain; that delicious, Food Network syringe is never enough of a fix), and home repairs*, Dad was right.

I miss them. Maybe because I haven’t seen them in a while and a book of old photographs reminds me. Maybe I just get this way at the end of every August like an old woman does in the late autumn of her life; I fast-rewind and fast-forward to saturated points remembered and imagined and bemoan the lost; things that are gone for good because they’ve changed…things that will change more, with or without my permission...age, relationships, health. A lift to the air has got me stirring…I need to go home again. It doesn’t matter that they’ve painted the bedroom tangerine and my beloved cat has long run away.

I need to be reminded of where I’ve come from to clarify where I’m going. Perhaps that will shed some light on why I always look back before I look forward.
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*The story of how my parents met is the stuff of Cinemax legends. She, long-haired and in shorts, had a leak. He, with a low-slung tool belt and mustache came over to 'fix the drain.' They married in the snow, and decided that my mother would go to work full-time while my father stayed home with us. This meant a childhood of required reading such as “The Donner Party” at nine years of age. The saga of my father as my Brownie troupe leader should be a whole other post… how he affixed the patches onto my sash with a staple gun, then took our group of ten young girls to visit a sewage treatment plant and a holding cell as our “real life” field trips.

7 comments:

hangthedj said...

I felt exactly the same a month or so ago. Isn't it funny how our pasts are always there as a security blanket whenver we need them?

Another twentysomething said...

Oh, August. It'll getcha every time.

m said...

I love it when September comes....autumn, the best season. Well coming from the desert, it's always nice to have the weather cool down a bit.

themarina said...

"how he affixed the patches onto my sash with a staple gun". hehehe

This is the sort of thing my dad would have done. I remember the day he fixed the hem of my skirt in a sinch using a glue gun. I hope you manage to get back soon!

Lynn said...

I feel this way so often--a trip home for two days is enough of a fix. :)

Anonymous said...

Growing up blows, huh?

April said...

I've only been gone from my hometown for less than a week and already I miss my family!!! I'm sooo homesick!!!!

How do you like NYC? I loved it. Every fast-paced moment of it.