The sharp pain in my chest reminds me of days marked in surface blood and cigarettes knuckles dragging on an endless string of blacktop
Piecing the horizon like a surgeons needle
Hunched with Neanderthal self possession on the hood of my automobile
Three-day stubble and raggedy hair
Sucking the ragged ends of my cracked perfunctory digits

The suit wasn’t badly cut
Gray slick and pin striped in thick resilient fabric like well hung drapes
I had purchased off the rack once upon a day
From some discount store that looked like a renovated basement
The cast offs of some lesser line of what might have been a designer for men

But 6 weeks and 11 hours in the capsule of a metal prison will do that to person
There are wrinkles where there shouldn’t be
The fit is fading fast and it pinches at the shoulders and pulls up on my cuffs

I’m somewhere between a travelling businessman and a hobo
I check the reactions of the registry clerk at the local cut-rate hotel to mark the passage of my own time
How much longer before I can no longer expect polite reactions from strangers to my unbidden presence?
One room, business rate, one bed, real cheap, smoking please (lots), and no sleeping, a wake up call at 7 and 8 and 8:30. Yes. Please.

And when you wake at 1AM tonight I’ll be at the Ramada in a room that hasn’t been updated since 1985. I would try to tell you I’m thinking of you, my blue eyed boy, my sparkling sun, but all I can see is the withered latex paint in egg shell white and floral patterns so mundane the brain rejects them completely pasted to the slanting walls of my rent-for-the-night man cave.

In a better day I dream of you. I listen to you dream, as I have for all the years of your life. Some day I will tell you about all this. And hope you understand. But for now, the sun rises on a day that never really set for me. And I’ll try to do better again. Though I’m not entirely sure what that means right now.

Hope and love for the future. Dad.


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