The Vibration of Him

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His head moves with the vibrations of the music. I mimic him. I grab a tennis racket from the wall of lucky sports equipment and begin to play the air guitar. Just like him. Now the vibrations of the music leave an ache where my father used to be.
My drunken mother entered the room and she was yelling at my father who had moved out months before. She asked me if I knew what he had done. And she asked me if I knew who he was. And she asked me why I still loved him. And I hadn’t learned the answer. Yet.
She leaves and I return to my empty thought watching my grandmother pack away the life my parents had built. Although this was forced upon me, I was undisturbed, almost numb, I had become well acquainted with destruction. My mother returns with photos. She presents them to me as if she were trying to make a case against a criminal. I wanted to reach out and break her grip on the photos and tear them apart just as they had torn my father away from me. My heart begged for my mind to release this memory and to return the vibrations.
I saw my father- the Marine Corp drill instructor, the man who took me dirt biking and camping each weekend, the man who taught me to be a woman that is independent of others. The man I daydreamed about my future husband to be- as a woman. I saw his slender face masked by makeup, as I knew my face would be as I grew older. I saw his Levis and work boots replaced by a pair of heels and a dress. I imagined the sound of his stride when he got home from work late at night that awoke me from my sleep for a brief moment: this comfort being replaced by the clicking of heels against the hardwood floor. In the photo I saw the woman hidden away in our garage, the very place that had presented itself to him on his checklist of what it meant to be a man.
When I remember that my father isn’t who I grew up with the pain fills my body and overflows through my once bright, childish eyes. I think to the future on my wedding day. Who will walk me down the aisle? The daydream of my father looking handsome in tuxedo alongside me to give me away has become distant. It is naive to look upon others and question why they are unable to accept their family for who they are; however even without this understanding one must respect the process of another and allow them to mourn the death of the person they once knew and get to know the person they have become. It has been seven years since I was given my father’s secret and I have mourned and been judged for pushing him away. My assumption of what my future held has been altered yet, here I am writing willingly about the woman he is and the memories I will make with her.






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