The Man Who Forgot To Live

March 10, 2009
By Renato Radu BRONZE, Beaverton, Oregon
Renato Radu BRONZE, Beaverton, Oregon
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

There is silence throughout the day, and there is still silence when my father comes home, and the day light turns to dark. Silence is the way of life for my father, for his life revolves around the tranquility of peacefulness. I go by Rob, Robert is my full name, the name that my mother gave me and my father obliged to; they are in love. Like my name, half of me left when my mother passed, but the same thing can not be said about my father. Nothing remains from my father; nothing but his name. John.

John is what I call my father, only because when I call him 'dad' he never seems to answers. I never figured out why he is so passive towards the name 'dad', the word that describes a father figure. Maybe he doesn't hear it, maybe he ignores the term, or maybe, as usual, he is tired beyond all means. When my mother passed away, John worked twice as much and ignored his own life to keep mine from dying. I try to remember the day that John sold his life to protect mine. I still haven't figured out when, but sometimes I feel that it is best that I try not to remember the heartache of the past. To this day when I talk about my father I can't help but call him John, I guess I too have gotten used to the fact that John is who he goes by.

My father...the hard worker, the passive one, the once loved by a wife and still loved by a son, is a very complex person. I do remember very clearly a day not too long ago when my father and I sat down and ate. I heard the garage door open, the slow pacing car pulling up to the driveway, and then the car stopping. My father called me into the garage so I could help him with something. This point in my life, right there, at that second, my heart stopped. I have only dreamt that one day John would finally become my father again.

I went down stairs slowly and opened the door to find that my father handed me two bags and said, 'Take these up and set them on the table.' Crushed by those stupid dreams that I have, sometimes I think that I dream too much. My father then came upstairs, sat down, and we opened the bags and started eating dinner for the first time in a long time.

It was silent of course, but as I was about to open my mouth and say something, I stopped abruptly. I stared at every inch of my father's face, taking in all that I had laid my eyes on. He was mute and looked straight down into his plate the whole time that I was inspecting him. He never even knew that I had stopped eating and I was slowly starting to cry. My father's hands were rough to the touch, but warm to the heart. His body language suggested utter and complete exhaustion, from a hard day at work. His bold blue eyes were surrounded by dark overwhelming circles that imprisoned his soul. His helpless face was worn out, his lips were dry and could barley open to eat. Thought his eyes told another story. That's when I felt the tears forming, as soon as my eyes gazed upon his.

I saw a trapped man sitting on the floor like a prisoner in his own cell with a light from an upper window that was centered on him. The light reflected off the man that was trapped and that's when I knew that that man was my father's glowing soul. I got up and rushed to the bathroom where I cried the same as the day that I got news that my mother had passed. I had to stop, for my sake and my fathers; so I pulled it together and went to go eat again. Father was still eating, and as I sat back down he stopped chewing and didn't look up from his plate. I was scared. After two seconds, he started eating again as if he had just realized that I had gone and came back. Poor John, I thought to myself, he has taken such a hard hit in life, and in his family. As we finished, he said that he was going to take a shower and come back downstairs.

The only thing I said was, 'Ok John.'
I considered the fact that John had no idea that every night, since my mother had died, he always said the same thing. After dinner he would go upstairs, get in the shower, and he would fall asleep on the bed. The usual for John's day at home from work; but the sad part was that he always says and does the same thing. Ten minutes later I went upstairs to cover John, I mean my father, with a blanket. I opened the door and he was fast asleep in his bed with his lights still turned on from the time he got in the shower. I took my mother's blanket and laid it on top of him, hoping that the blanket would bring my father back and that my mother would protect him in his dreams. I then quickly left to get ready for another day, but before I went to bed I prayed as usual for something. Every night before I go to bed, I pray for one thing and one thing only. Hoping that my father will return to his old self again.

Day after day the routines run the same, the verbal communication is still, and every night, matches to the night before. Days come and go, but family is always forever, a lesson in life that I have learned the hard way. As for my father, he will too one day break out of that mental prison and join me to live a life together by each others sides. I Rob, will give back to my father as he has done for me over the years, so John will be free one day, one day soon.

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This article has 3 comments.

Beta said...
on May. 26 2009 at 5:26 pm
Great piece Renato! Very well written. You've captured some though insights into a young man's mind. Very proud of you.

thevamp13 said...
on Apr. 7 2009 at 2:45 am
Your piece is very touching. Thank you for sharing.

KKnight said...
on Apr. 6 2009 at 6:40 pm
Renato. thanks for the privilege of reading your piece of writing. Your piece provided an intense emotional response, one that provides a personal glimpse, perhaps, into a difficult life experience. It left a desire for additional chapters, and a need to know how John is doing. In a very short piece, you created a very personal, and intimate story that had a great life lesson for the reader. With a few corrections to grammer and spelling, your future readers are in for a treat. Thank you for sharing!

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