April 13, 2019

Nothing To Say

Carl was telling me...
he left a few mornings ago and after flight delays, train delays and airport bar delays
he finally got there but it was too late for goodbyes, so longs, and auf wiederschiens…
the old man was dead and that was that…there was nothing to talk about—nothing—
I don’t know what was the official cause of death—I might have asked, but I don’t think I did…
probably ‘the old man’s best friend’—pneumonia…
they hadn’t been close and hadn’t been since they hadn’t been close…
they went on a fishing trip once...the old man caught a lot of Budweiser
so did his friends who could generously be described as sketchy low-life degenerates…
the old man couldn’t help taking digs at whatever hole Carl found himself in
instead of a throwing him a rope, he threw anchors
he’d make a snide remark and about Carl taking after his mother who (whom? whoeth?) he regularly insulted…
I said to him once that she must have been stupid to have married him
the air went out of the room...subtlety has never been my strong point…
Carl’s sixteenth birthday was approaching and his father saying
he was going to get him the same thing as he had gotten him the last year…
which was nothing...and that ‘it would be in a bigger box’...he got a good laugh out of it…Carl didn’t
...he sometimes heard comments about ‘he brought you into this world’
like poor Carl should be thankful for that
somehow he should forgive his old man’s behaviors
when he knew he was just the result of probably drinking too much
getting careless with his sperm cells…
Carl left home the day after he was 18 and couldn't hit the door fast enough…
time went by and the heart didn’t grow any fonder…
his old man left town--with his girlfriend of the month to Florida…
Carl didn’t know what happened to him or care…
the old bum turned up years later on his daughter’s front steps...needing a handout…
his GF had dumped him and he didn’t have anywhere to go...he was ‘down on his luck’
more likely down on his hands and knees coughing up that days liquid breakfast …
he stayed with her/got sicker and she kept telling Carl he should come visit…
but something got in the way, nothing got in the way, he never did …
when he was on his deathbed, she begged him to come--
I guess for some kind of goofy closure thing or something…
Carl left town but honestly wasn’t in a hurry to get there...
he wished it would have been different but it wasn’t...he hung around for a couple of days to help make arrangements
had to leave before the funeral…
he had an airport bar he had to get back to