Sunday, June 21, 2015

absence /ˈabsəns/

“Call me. Let’s get together,” he said to me; to the man he considered his son, I suppose. My pick-up was loaded with the third and final load.

“Of course,” I replied, and under my breath: but not anytime soon…

Two years flew by. I heard of his problems. I knew that his health was in decline.

His close friend called me. “He wants me to give him your number. He wants to call you.”

“That’s fine,” I said. “My number is no secret. He’s welcome to call me anytime.”

I got to looking forward to the call. It was time to lay it on the line and tell him honestly why it had been no priority of mine to see him; why I judged that we were pretty much useless to each other. Why I’d yet to call or come around for two years. Then two weeks passed and I decided that he was not likely to call after all. He didn’t have the nerve. Or maybe he was just giving me a poke to see if I would call him. I was thinking this as I drove past the healthcare centre where he’d recently been a resident and I decidedly firmly that when I arrived home I would call him.

Just minutes later I arrived home with that task still in mind. The phone was ringing as I unlocked the door. It’s him, I thought. Good. I rushed to the phone and it was not him after all. But it was very much about him. It was my cousin on the line; the one who seems permanently delegated the task of calling me when there is bad news in the family.

No comments: