25 February 2011
my father is my bff.
this hits me when we are on the phone and, like a teenager confessing dark secrets down the line to a friend, he pauses and closes the door of his library so my mother will not hear what he is about to say.
we've been having this conversation, he and i, for a year and a half. ever since i was in paris and he couldn't sleep and i woke up early to find that he'd emailed me a nelson mandela quote that, three months later, we would realize was missing from my copy of the book he was reading then.
i am an only child.
more and more i'm realizing i probably need to front with that. otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense for my parents to play the role in my life that they do. for me to write about them as often. for me to be as aware of the fact that i will, one day, be alone as i am.
it makes no sense for me to be this close to my parents when they are a thousand miles away unless you know i am the only one. that it has always been us three. and that three is sometimes a difficult number.
i've written before about my father.
he writes me letters now. once a week. old school written by hand on a notecard letters. with vintage recycled stamps so that the whole right corner is a short story with a cogent theme, like Stamps of Lady Writers or Stamps of Plants of the World or Stamps Celebrating People Who Played the Trombone.
he started doing this last summer. i don't know that i fully appreciated them then but i look forward to every single one now. because even when all he writes about is the cat shit still, after a long day, there's something wonderful about these letters. something sturdy and reassuring and safe in that handwriting i've known my whole life.