Father's Day. It may be that on this day, those who have lost our fathers feel an even keener need to honor them. After my father died, I wrote several nonfiction narratives and essays about him, about us,about the distance and the connection between us. A few have been published, others are making the rounds, still more are in the memoir manuscript draft, and the to-be-finished file. Other to-be-written Dad-related material is lurking in notebooks.
Why? I have some ideas, but really I'm not completely sure; that's part of what makes it so interesting to write this stuff.
My parents retired to Las Vegas in the early 1980s, and when he died, nearly five years ago and I flew out there, I wrote Two Weeks in Vegas. Later, when I thought back on his decline, I wrote Tip Not Included. Two poems are in the pipeline, with publication upcoming.
I don't know if I'll ever be done writing about Dad, which makes sense, since it was he who showed me what it was like to read with a constant, daily, insatiable hunger. For him, I think it was because formal education was taken away at an early age; for me, well, I suppose I just wanted to be like Dad.