A Man

June 14, 2010
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After five years and 7,000 miles
There he is.

He looks older than when I last saw him,
I guess I do, too.
This man hasn’t seen me since I was 12.

There’s nervousness, excitement, worry, anticipation,
Shock for him, skepticism for me.
A fervent hope on both sides that we will find something to talk about for the next
Three days.

I’m conspicuously alone,
On display,
No corners to hide in or skirts to hide behind,
As there have been in the past.

Over the days I slowly get a sense for this person,
I hope that I am conveying a better sense of who I am.
We both have a life that neither person knows anything about.
Motorcycles, Vietnam, sailing boats, engineering, teenage cars, hippie hair,
Battlestar Galactica, rides through deserts, childhood friends,
All the things that make up a life
That I’m learning through old pictures with commentary.

An awkward arm around the shoulder
Makes clear our relationship,
And in future pictures the arm stays by his side.

At the end, I’ve learned that he is
Orderly, sarcastic, meticulous, nit-picky, occasionally amusing, controlling, intelligent,
But not loving,
Though he tries.
Neither am I, not towards him.
He’s just a man I know,
He hardly seems like my father.

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