My father died in February. Around the 22nd or so. I purposely misplaced the obituary and forgot the date. It was the year 2008 or 2009. It was such a blur but I know I was living in Atlanta at the time.
He was my biggest fan but I didn’t know. He was consistent with inconsistency. Or maybe it’s “we” were consistent with inconsistency. But usually the child is allowed to blame the parent so I said “he”. We weren’t consistent like the hurricanes that you expect every year. We were more like tornadoes in the south. It can happen but it would be a surprise. Except we never made the news. Not together at least. So that was the weather of our relationship.
I called in December, around the holidays cause that’s what you’re supposed to do. His girlfriend answered and told me he was dying. They had given him a few months to live. He told me he was dying a few years before that, so I kind of didn’t believe her. I can’t remember where he was or why she answered the phone. But then he picked up and said, “hello”.
Continue reading the memories in February
My younger brother hadn’t heard from his father in a few months. But this is not unusual for their relationship as they could go months on end without talking. They had a unique way of communicating. They usually communicated through other people in the streets, “Have you seen my Dad around lately?” or “I saw your father he told me to tell you to come by and see him.” Well, the fall of 2013, my brother had been asking around about his father for a few months and everyone continued to tell him, “no, I haven’t seen your Pops.” Christmas morning of 2013, after the kids opened their gifts and everyone enjoyed a light breakfast, my brother said he was physically moved to go to his laptop and type the words, “homicides in Kansas City” to do a search for his father’s name. I imagine he held his breath as he waited to be satisfied that this intuitive notion was simply a crazy thought. However, the search was conclusive, September 16th his father had been murdered.
My brother was screaming in the phone. I haven’t heard him scream since he was a young boy perhaps frightened by a spider. The sound of this chilled me to my bones. A piercing baritone is not melodic. It shatters the musical science of healing and bends wavelengths. My breath sat in my throat. His father was stabbed in September and died a few weeks later in early October. A search for funeral services or posted obituaries turned up nothing. See, his father was a loner, a rolling stone. The online documentation stated he was stabbed several times in the chest and once in the heart during an argument on 39th and Main. My brother was flattened at the thought that his father probably went into surgery and never gained consciousness to give the name of a next of kin. He died alone. My brother’s Christmas turned into Memorial Day.
Continue reading Tears are for Clowns