Mar 29th, 2006

He’s Dead, Jim

How many father figures did you have?

Yesterday, I lost another one of mine. My sistergirlfriendgirl's dad passed away. I spent so much of my childhood in her home, that her parents were a second set of parents to me. But, unlike my own, hers were larger than life. They had a pet lion for a while.
Her mother was tall, with an armful of gold bangles half way to her elbow. She had a huge laugh, a talent for flower arranging, and another for needlepoint. She made her own needlepoint patterns. She smoked and wore gold flowered sandals and long Hawaiian mumus. I was in awe of her.

Their home always had a jigsaw puzzle in progress on a table in the living room. There were shelves and shelves of books, and dishes of shells and found objects; there was always something new to discover on a shelf, or a new photo in the collage of family photos in the hallway.

Her father had lily and chysanthemum farms. Acres and acres of purple, yellow, rust flowers under the black shade cloth. In the 60s, if you bought a potted Easter lily, or wore a chrysanthemum corsage, it probably came from their farms. He became a bee keeper by accident when a swarm built a hive in an empty lily bulb crate. He fished and hunted and swore and cooked. Like my own father, he could (and did) build a bbq pit out of an empty oil barrel, some cinder blocks and a piece of wire fence.

Do they even make men like that anymore? I don't think so. Nor women like her mother, although I do my best to emulate her. My home has a lot of elements that I remember or think I remember about hers, too.

Anyway. It's a good thing that I'd put down the better part of a bottle of red when I got the news about her dad, because a couple of hours later the Apple store called to tell me that my laptop was unrecoverable, and they'd had to put in a new hard drive.

It's all gone. All of it. Fuck me blue.