April 6, 2006
Jenn and the baby have been down in Philadelphia for a few days and the house is unusually quiet. Too quiet. I can hear myself think, hear my footsteps... the hum of the refrigerators and the city sounds which I never normally notice. For the many years I lived alone, a quiet house and solo meals were never acknowledged. Never noticed. But with the family away our empty bed is cold and the incessant stillness keeps me awake.
I wonder how my father managed in the long years after my mother died in that big Texas house all alone. In that era he hated weekends and would often go in to work or fly somewhere, anywhere, just to be on the move. He had to get extra pages in his passport for all those long aimless weekend trips. I know now why sometimes back in those days a conversation over the phone would end (I would have something to do or read) and he would ask if I could just stay on a little longer. Sometimes we didn't talk, I doing whatever I was doing, my dad listening to the static. Sometimes I could hear him pacing. Those years were so hard, but eventually he fell in love again and we've all moved on. Life right now is almost unbearably sweet, but that sweetness makes me understand what my father lost and those long stretches of static haunt me because I could have done more.