I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
[Notebook, Oct. 10, 1842]”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne
“It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Lyrics by Johnny Nash, I can see clearly now
Long past Spring it is now—that heady time of year when the garishly decadent displays of showy blooms stake claim to what had been a barren landscape. . .
Yet it appears, tucked away in the falling leaves and newly exposed spindly twigs, a few shrubs and bushes wish to reclaim a small piece of that now long departed season of glory— just as all manner of growth prepares, very shortly, to “go out” in a blaze of muted glory.
And so it is on this bright bright sunshiny kind of day, that I”m about to make the trek over to Dad’s.
There’s been some odd things perched on the horizon. . .can’t quite put my finger on it.
I’ve long ceased fighting with him over his lack of “taking care of business.”
I suppose it’ll all just go to the proverbial hell in a hand basket as the tax man may just come get him, but at least he’ll be happy in jail as they will indeed feed him.
And as they continue to have heat, lights and especially TV. . .life is good in Dad’s little world.
“Just stay there” he tells me. “It’s not safe to drive all the way here”
“Dad” it’s about an hour’s drive”—baring Atlanta’s infamous traffic.
“You could be killed!”
“Yes, well, I could be killed here at home Dad”
“But the chances are greater here!” this said with a sheer sense of panic in his voice.
I can’t argue that. . .
“I early voted yesterday. Have ya’ll voted yet?”
A warbly reply “I don’t think we can do that this year”
“WHAT?!” My oh so political loving card carrying diehard pundit is waving off a critical State election?
“I just don’t think we can do that” sounding almost disinterested.
I have high blood pressure, I’m in bed”
“You can’t go vote cause you’re in bed?”
“You can’t go vote cause you have high blood pressure?”
“No, no, I, I, uh, just don’t think we can do that!” said with the defiance that signals he wants to be left alone—too many questions which require too much thought and response—two keys areas he’s really falling woefully behind in. . .
Plus he’s taken to calling me on my cell phone– which means he’s calling me from his cell phone—the one he lost over a year ago and always said he didn’t know how it worked. Hummmmmmm
He calls twice a day now asking if everyone is ok, as though he’d forgotten he’d called just a few hours before asking the same. . .”Is everyone ok?”
“Dad I’m coming up tomorrow, have you forgotten?”
“You are? Does Gloria know this?”
“Yes Dad, you made me tell her yesterday. . .”
“Are you watching this business on Canada?”
“Yes Dad, it’s terrible. Are you still in the bed?”
“Bed? No, I’m up front watching TV”
“Well don’t forget, I’ll see you tomorrow”
“What? Are you coming up? What for?”
“Just to visit Dad. Do you want me to take you to vote?”
“No it’s too much trouble. I don’t like to travel anymore”
“Travel? Dad, it’s not a trip. It just up to the school to go vote. It’s right up the road”
“Did you vote?”
“Who’d you vote for?”
“Everyone you would have wanted me to vote for”
“That’s a good thing”
And so it is, or so I think. . .I’m off to see if it’s really a good thing or not. . .