Today I am thankful for my father.
Dad and I have a lot in common. We write really sloppy, have big heads and big bones. We have flat feet and walk a little duck-footed. We devour fantasy/sci-fi books and tend towards reticence (getting an opinion from us can be like pulling teeth).
Our way of spending time together whenever I pop home for a visit is to go see a "Laura and Dad movie." These movies are generally over-full of action-adventure stunts aided by cgi, in which the plot begs for your willing suspension of disbelief, the heroes are good-looking, and the villains villainous: what you would call bad movies. We love them. Ever since we saw the enjoyably stupid movie "Anaconda," we have been on a quest to find a movie even worse than it. We're still looking.
I was poking around my computer the other day and came across this little thing I wrote during my first year in college. We may not tell each other "I love you," very much (that's a little embarrassing), but the bond is there. I think you'll see it in this little bit of writing. Here it is, completely unedited:
The man of no affection hugged me today, long and hard. The barren, cold room surrounded us, hovering over our shoulders, eyeing me flat against my face as I rested my chin on my father’s shoulder and reveled in the warmth of his familiarity. Nothing else was familiar; all was strange and heartless in that room – my room for the rest of the year. The mottled brown carpet, the pasty white wall, the flimsy closet door – they all stared in solemnity at the tearing of family bond in their midst: this happened every year. How can this painful break be so commonplace? Thousands go through this every year; thousands weep and thousands shiver in nervous anticipation. Such a break is commonplace only in the statistics; it is a whole other thing for flesh and blood. Life as these thousands know it is no more, has altered dramatically. In that little room, my future home, a part of my being was being wrenched away and shut up in the vaults of memory. I could not return to the safety of childhood. And my father, the very person (and often the only person) who had been the one encouraging my departure from home, my baby steps into the real world – he was the one who held me long and hard today, on this cold and barren day.