The Duffell Bag

May 17, 2010
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His name was John, John Schmitt. But I called him dad. I never knew him too well. He didn’t really ever have time for me. He was always busy with work. He was gone a lot too. Off on business trips. He left my mom and I when I was in 6th grade. I never saw him after that. I have to admit that I wasn’t too sad when I heard that he died of a heart attack. I hadn’t really spent any father – son time with him so he didn’t really seem like a father. He just seemed like another stranger. My mom went to his funeral in Florida. That’s where he was living at the time. He moved a lot, usually once a year. A few hours after my mom came home from the funeral she came up to my room.

“Chris? Are you in there?” She knocked on my door and came in. “Dinner will be really in a few minutes. . . Oh. . . I thought you should have this.” She placed a package on my desk and walked away.
I looked at the package for a few seconds. I didn’t want to get distracted from what I was doing so I just ignored it. In my hands I was holding a letter. I wrote the letter a year after my dad left.



Dear Pat,
Pat was a coworker of his. I was also really good friends of his two sons.
Long time no see. I really miss going out bowling with Jeremy, Dean, and you. Has Dean gotten any better? Remember his 31 point game? Do you guys still go bowling every Saturday night? Things are going pretty much the same here. Do Jeremy and Dean like it in Oregon? Oh yeah how’s the Mrs. (wink wink)? Well the real reason I’m writing you was because I know you work with my dad. And I was wondering
But I never finished the letter. I was planning on writing a lot more but after I finished that sentence my mom called me down stairs. We had to leave to go shopping for new shoes. The whole time we were at the shoe store I kept thinking about the letter. And the more I thought about it the less I thought it was a good idea. So I never finished it. Hearing about my dad again made me think about the letter. I kept going over in my head what I would have said after that.
As I was jumping off of my bed slipped on my poncho liner and fell to the ground hard. After a few seconds of lying there in pain, I felt something very lightly touch my back. My first thought was that it was a spider so I immediately jumped up and shook it off. But when I looked down I didn’t see a spider but a stub of a ticket to a WWE vs. RAW wrestling match. When my mom and dad were still together we lived in Atlanta and for my 10th birthday my dad brought me to a match. That’s one of the only fun things I can remember doing with him. After we came home I ran to my room and I taped them under my mattress. Back then I kept everything that was important to me under there (so I wouldn’t lose it). I was so shocked when I saw them I just stared at those little pieces of paper. I knew they were only ticket stubs but I couldn’t help think of all the happy things I did with my dad. I had been focusing on all of the negative but after seeing those that all went away.
After replaying that night in my head, I looked toward my desk and saw the package wrapped in its red paper with a big silver bow sitting on top. Tied around the bow was a tag that said “To Chris”. It was my dad’s hand writing. I walked over to it and my first instinct was to unwrap it. But after I made a small tear on the side of it I thought better of it. Before I took out the letter I had decided that I was done with my dad. I wasn’t going to think about him anymore. He was gone and I couldn’t do anything about it so why waste time with it.
I shoved the stubs and the letter into my pocket, grabbed the package and headed down stairs.
“I’m going for a bike ride,” I said as I walked out the front door.
“What about dinner?” my mom called after me.

Not hearing what she said I jumped on the seat of my bicycle and rode off with the package in my lap. I didn’t know where I was going or how long I was going to be gone; I just knew that I needed to get rid of these things.
After circling my old elementary school about seventeen times I had had enough. So I went to Security Service Field. I didn’t really go in it. I went behind it. Back when my friends lived near me we used to go there and just mess around. We used to lie in the grass, it was really uncomfortable because it was dead but we did it anyway. While I was lying there thinking about what to do with the ticket stubs, the letter, and the package a humongous wind came. It was one of those winds that make you have goosebumps. It had made me, who doesn’t get cold easily, get very cold. I, who hadn’t brought a jacket, thought that this was a great time to go somewhere else. But as I was getting on my bike, I saw something getting blown around. It didn’t look like a plastic bag or something normal like that so I decided to check it out. As I rode over I noticed that what I saw were the straps of a large duffel bag. I got off of my bike, leaned down and unzipped the back, never taking my eyes off of the bag.
The duffel bag was full of tons of different things. The two things that really stood out were an Advanced Physics text book and a medical dictionary. It looked like someone or maybe more than person had been putting things in it for years. As I was looking at the items my watch started beeping. I looked at my watch and saw that it was already eight o’clock. I had been gone for more than two hours. I was only thought I was going to be back at 6:30 tops. I immediately dropped the package, letter, and two WWE vs. RAW ticket stubs, and rode home on my bike.
The next morning I wanted to back there and look at all of the other things in the duffel bag but I couldn’t, I got grounded for getting home so late. Finally a week later I went down there as fast as I could. But it was gone. My dad was gone.





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