When I said I wanted to see him again and pried into layers of memories of my own secret delusions like a spy novel, I realized daydreams of trailing my five half siblings were just that, daydreams. Often better left in the ethereal, soft focus muted light of the mind. Agreed, I had these repeated scenarios more than once. I had them on late nights after too much wine and several hands of poker with the ladies. I had them early in the morning, when I read the paper and learned that one of my childhood friends’ fathers’ had died. I dreamed on and off for years, of hopping aboard his Metro bus, wearing a baseball hat and out-dated sunglasses, and a jersey from another city, like Pittsburg….sometimes I was in a long wool coat and black sunglasses and a scarf looking New York metropolitan, chic with my nose buried deep in a book. Other times I envisioned a staged chat with a friend, at the very Starbucks where one of his sons was a barista less than 20 miles away. I would try and peek at him from afar then move in closer, fearless, memorize his mannerisms as he held out a shiny metal pitcher distorting only his good looks back to himself-was there anything familiar about his hands or the expression on his face while tending to a mundane task such as steaming a pitcher of milk to a scalding froth? Did he smile or was he serious? Would he notice me staring while he arranged the pastries in the case, would I let him see me staring or would I pretend to be interested in the CD’s next to the register or god forbid he was at the cash register-that would be too close. I would have to have my friend face the task of ordering my soy latte for me.
I may have believed my father when he said he wanted to heal the wounds that had been left from his never knowing us. The wounds for me were already once crusted over and scratched off and crusted over again to the point the scars left….only reminded me that my hurt- was indeed permanent and never of interest to him. Perhaps he had envisioned that I too was tough like my heartbroken mother who had never allowed herself to love anyone but him. First love is brutal. I was far from the reckless child I once was; with no regard for my safety or preventing ill results in risky dealings cause I deserved a pained life. It was etched like a pre-ordered epitaph at a funeral home sale. In my twenties I would walk tipsy down the darkest streets toward home, alone enroute back to my apartment at 1:00 am, not a fear in the world. And now my every instinct is to protect myself and I never expose myself to hurt any deeper than nasty remarks from my kids. So long ago, whatever gash was left on my heart has long since been sutured by practiced holding of breath and any tears, purposefully medicated away. My displeasure with wasting time on pain is real. I am not a child anymore whose just fallen on the playground. Why revisit this, what’s to gain? Perhaps that is why I have no gripe with life dealt straight up, no ice, plain and random with no river card. I have never had the energy to exhaust filling in the entire crossword puzzle. I have always been smitten with a handful of words down and across. I’ve lived a long life without answers and it suits me fine.
My good friends lent their advice to this looming life-changing event. “All systems go they said, green light, full throttle, I was completely encouraged by friends who said knowledge is power. I took this for the free sample of my present joy, friends are where it’s at. Friends give me their encouragement. Wow, I like friends. And then there’s family. Those close members with a similar DNA mapping to mine. I thought on this long and hard. What strikes me when it comes to meeting people, I marvel at how completely fucked up the ones with similar versions of my same DNA can be! I cannot say that I am glad I have met many of my cousins, nor do I like the people they are, but I cannot un-meet them, or undo the holidays I spent with them. The prospect of me, meeting my five half siblings…pffftttttt (raspberry). I only wanted to see my father to hear two words, “I’m sorry.” But meet them? Why? So they can see the fine product of success, “beauty,” the pillar of normal that I represent. They are half my age, what’s in it for me? Do I want to meet five people related to me by blood? It’s like asking me if I sometimes prefer my coffee black when I have taken cream in it my entire life! I like the gray areas in life more and more. After all, grey is totally in. As is ambiguity, vagueness, the unknowns of life are similarly powerful as discovering truth. …..it’s like wondering how a person you find yourself incredibly attracted to kisses. Sometimes in life the dream is better than the reality. I say, “hold fast to the dream!” Yes, I said it, knowledge is not always power. There’s no arguing, the book is always better than the movie. So much is left to be alluded to. And for what’s it’s worth, a chance meeting is still possible, If it’s meant to be, it shall be.