Sunday, April 12, 2009

forgetting

I think I am forgetting my father.  He's missing this Pesach, but not in the big weird way I thought he would be.
 
Someone asked me in shul yesterday how we were doing, I guess meaning "without him," this year.
It was a nice, thoughtful person, and I wanted to give a nice, thoughtful answer.
 
But I just gave a stupid answer, which is - yes, he's absent, but not in the way I thought he would be.
 
See?  That's as close as I can get to articulating it!
 
Like maybe I thought it would be an empty chair, an empty plate, a seder filled with cloying reminiscences and a ghostly surreal overarching presence.
 
Nothing here is overarching.  The vomiting continues unabated.  No Great Moments of great moment.
Mommy is Mommy.
My sisters are my sisters.
The kids are kids, obnoxious as hell these days, mirroring my moods to a T.
 
We are all still puttering through, doing our roles.
Did I think the whole thing would fall apart, or just not happen?
Maybe.
 
Everything feels completely normal, I just don't like Pesach anymore.
I don't like these people I'm with very much anymore.
Like there's something wrong with me:  I don't like anything anymore.
 
Okay, I like seeds.  I look forward to seeds, sprouting and growing.
Green, green, green.
 
I read a novel once where somebody died... and every time the phone rang, the main character hoped it was someone good.
 
Except the someone good was gone.  Nobody else was who she wanted to talk to.
Every phone call was a disappointment.
 
For years after she died, maybe I still have it, I kept a "Call Me" card from my bubby, my father's mother.
It says "Now you can call Rose Lapell more often:  (416) 398-8520" plus a little code number at the end that made it possible for you to phone her free (it automatically reversed the charges).
 
How can you throw away something like that???
The chance to call up your bubby, for free, every time you want?
I'll take it.  It's Pesach; I'd love to talk to her, see how she's doing, tell her about these new great-grandkids, how my sisters are doing, how the big kids turned out.  She never met Elisheva Chaya.
 
She never met Ted.
Thinking how much I've changed in the last 13 years, she barely met me.
My father barely met me. 
 
I hope I turn out to be someone good, for somebody, some day.

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