I’d like to dedicate this to 2 great, fun bloggers – the Tattoo Tourist mainly because there is a distinct, respectable mission and a clear-cut method to her inked “madness” (and because she chose me as 1 of 6 preferred castaways on a desert island!).
This also goes out to RedDog, who has my admiration and respect for the shining posts he writes on his blog, Shed Reflections, and for his friendly, welcoming vibe. He’s cool, he’s tattooed, he’s fond of bikes, he leaves great feedback and the comments left here got me all smiley, sentimental and geared-up to write this post.
– Did you ever take that ride, RedDog? Fill me in! 🙂
The image featured above is a yellow notepaper I found on my Dad’s bulletin board shortly after he passed in 2005. At the time it was really difficult for me to enter his apartment alone, so my Long Island cousin, Linda, accompanied me several times.
This was our first of many visits. Chills ran down my spine when I read that note on his cork-board.
At the same moment, chills ran down her spine when she saw a shadow cross behind us in the hallway, where we stood in front of that board, straight to his office. Of course that would be just like him to spook 2 little girls he got to watch grow up… If she and I ever needed to be any closer, THAT little scare surely helped!
To fill in the elephant-sized blank, Dad didn’t really “pass away” (i.e. in his sleep with a smile or from a long, drawn-out illness) so much as he was fatally impacted & thrown from his beloved Harley Davidson. He was on his way home from work to meet a friend in the evening of March 18, 2005 when a tow-truck blew right through a stop sign.
At the intersection of Randolph & Scott in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn shortly before 6PM my heart was slated to be ripped apart. Although the news of his accident would take another 6 hours to reach me…
This is the reason I now have an I.C.E. (in case of emergency) contact in my cellphone.
Within an hour after the accident, he was gone. It was the biggest waking nightmare of my entire life. I got the call at my then-boyfriend/now-husband’s apartment around midnight only because NYPD had gotten a tip from my Godmother. They had left several messages on my home answering machine to no avail. Eventually they thought it might be useful to search the log of recent calls on Dad’s cellphone. Stellar notification skills, NYPD…
So, I never got to kiss his cheek or hold his hand or say goodbye.
Dad had left a message on my machine on Thursday, the night right before his accident, and I put off calling him back. Never thought for one second it would end up as this sort of painful regret; but then nobody ever does, do they?
“There’s always tomorrow…” is a common, innocent-enough assumption.
This little snippet of the translated poem “La Tierra Giró para Acercarnos” by Eugenio Montejo seemed to speak to me in Dad’s voice. It brought frustrating, haunting notions to mind. Even though he was a huge fan of the movie 21 Grams, and a seriously hopeless romantic, it seemed to project Dad’s typical irony –
The Earth turned to bring us closer
It turned on itself and in us
Until it finally brought us together in this dream
- Closer? – Uh, Daddy, you’re even more “gone” now than you were when you and mom divorced…
- Together in this dream? – Less “dream” and more an endless, extremely lonely nightmare at that moment in time.
That Post-It became the centerpiece of a photo collage my “Cousin-Brother” (& Dad’s first nephew) Eric artfully threw together for display at the wake and funeral. Everyone thought it was sweet, sentimental & very prophetic that my dad found those words significant and left them in a place for me to find. That frame with all its original contents sits to this day on the dresser in my room. Up until very recently it had never been disassembled.
It took quite a long time for me to revisit those lines from Dad’s saved scribble. For a really long time it was difficult to temper the thoughts that sprung up in my grieving, sentimental mind. After all, if I really thought about it, those words do gently invoke the wings of fate and the magical ways people we love the most affect us; just like the very best of dreams.
I plan to make those words, exactly as he jotted them down, my next tattoo (when I can afford it!). I promise to post a pic when I do. 🙂
And here you go, RedDog – that photo I promised to share. Can’t tell you which model it was, but he was very proud of it though I had to let them keep it at the good ‘ol NYPD salvage lot since I hadn’t the heart or the constitution necessary to go see it.