I would take the book down to my father’s cabin every day and read to him. It was a story I liked about a town of folks in Norway or Sweden or Iceland, one where the trees where short from long beaten winters, and when the sun came long in the day over your face so you couldn’t hide from its light and just sort of walked around squinty. There were characters in this story, a large man who was probably the best fisherman in the town and wore a wool sweater and a captain’s hat that always smiled and said the best things a person could say to the other people that he interacted with. And there was a little woman, so small you could fit her into you palm or throw her over your shoulder or celebrate her like a national icon. There were kids, thousands of them running around beneath your feet saying the most universal things that the adults knew, or would cling on to and try to remember but couldn’t because they were losing touch. They knew it was important and they would look into the sun and at the harbor, and for a brief moment they would feel it, but couldn’t quite bottle it up, they would try and the main character would belt out in laughter and throw all the kids up into the air and all the women, and catch them gracefully in his big hands and smile and everyone was happy. There was more fish in the sea to catch and new places to see, ever-ever after, further and further out and he never let them down.
“Smile” he would say, “we never had it this good, look at the sun on your shoulder!” and he would leave once again, over and over again.
I would read this to my father, in this town I liked to call “cat town” a place where I would just sort of come into, and walk around in and say the things I wanted to say and curl up in windowsills.
At that time my father was in a coma, and I was so far away and would I would come back home all the nurses who were watching out for him would have go through these natural stages of hating me, asking questions like, “what are you doing here?” “Who are you?” I would say I am my father’s son and I haven’t been around for a while. They would reluctantly open the gates and let me in with my wide shoulders and confusion.
In the room I would notice things and would become upset. My father there in his bed, his whiskers still growing, how could they not shave his whiskers every day? What am I paying for?
My father there dead body, body still body, alive. So I kept reading?
I would open the windows and let the wind in, I would open the windows and let the sea in until it filled our lungs and I would begin reading again. I story that I had to tell, that he couldn’t hear anymore.
-the fathers would go down to the sea, and into the sun, and pull over the mollusks and seaweed and shake lose the octopus from their safe haven, they would chip the oysters from rock and pull it all together into buckets with white wine, onions from the garden and cream and bring them back over fires that we walked across since our youth.
I would look at him and there was no movement. There was no acknowledgement.
There was nowhere else to direct my energy but towards the nurses. i would get on them a bit, and there was this one nurse Kimi, she said, “let’s go out drinking” Kimi was interesting, her mind was mellow to say the least.
Kimi had a good handful of friends and all of them where my father’s nurse. They all asked me about myself, and who I was and where I had come from. I would say, “I come from here” and they would laugh and cackle like geese.
Kimi was into holding my hand on the way home and I let her, I needed her to hold my hand on the way home, she would curl up into my armpit and pull herself out like a kiss but I was indifferent to it. Kimi, I would say “let me just hold you”
She would say ok
Soon we were at her house, and there was a couch and bed that was too small and Kimi was floating over me like a dream. I was floating over Kimi just the same way. There was no doubt in my body about the fact that we would make love. My penis was harder than anything I have ever witnessed before and it was going to go inside of her, as Mozart’s quartet in G played.
Just like the book read for my father.
I say this to you father, have you seen me, have you witnessed what I have become! Someday I would like to take you to “cat town”