"one day you will die..."
we were sitting around a wooden picnic table, in the middle of the park, kids climbing the monkey bars, slipping down slides, giggling into the arms of waiting parents. a group of teens stood to one side, comparing multi-colored discs, before their turn on the frisbee golf course. a few older men, grandparents maybe, pointed here and there at the children, making comments we could not hear.
our table was laden with orange and yellow wrappers of cheeseburgers and boxes portraying Ronald McDonald in fanciful colors, standing next to the propaganda for the next big kids movie. empty ketchup packets, drained of their substance, peaked from within the grease stained bag our lunch had been carried in.
the conversation, that had been light and fluid, ground to a halt, like overused brake pads against the drum, as i looked into the innocent smile of my seven year old son, his statement heavy in the air. the bite i had just taken of my burger, tasted like cardboard and stuck to my tongue like peanut butter, choking me. forcing it into my throat, it burned the whole way down, all the moisture in my body lining up on my eyelids.
coke chortled in the straw as i took a long pull, before managing, "yes, someday."
"can we go play now?," his question seemed so awkward, but right, as he stood outside of the shadows that crept into my thoughts.
"yeah, let's go play," i grabbed him by the middle, fingers finding the spots that make him wiggle, legs kicking, arms flailing, as he danced in my embrace.
Standing at the foot of his bed, i watch as they unfold the board game, Sorry, his little fingers placing the pieces in their starting circles. blue for him, red for mom and yellow...
"hey, why are you putting out three?" she asks playfully, tousling his hair.
"one for you, one for me and one for daddy."
"honey, daddy..." hot tears spill down her face and i am moving to embrace her, to take away the pain.
"daddy is right there," he points right at me, but when her gaze passes through me, i shudder, knowing she can not see me.
"no, your dad is..."
dead. two days after the day at the park. barely two weeks ago. yet the morning after i found myself here, and only my son could see me. he is one i have come for...
For the rest of the story, go see Tina.
This is a 10DOM post.