Conversations with my father happen all the time. Well, I guess I can’t call them conversations because there is really only one voice. My voice. Alone in my head. I wish there were actual conversations; I wish that I could actually sit and talk and hear his voice and get the answers I am desperately seeking. The answers I have convinced myself belong only to my dad.
What would he say? How would he answer me, now that I am over fifty and parenting teenagers and married for almost twenty years? How would he answer me, after Donald Trump’s presidency and George Floyd’s (state sanctioned) murder and the polarizing anti-conversations surrounding masks, vaccinations, race and the state of the un-united states? What would he say about me teaching through a pandemic and amidst persistent, relentless, systemic racism? How would he advise me about the complications that inevitably arise when two people share a life and bring three kids into it?
I thought that I could try to write out a fictitious conversation between us, making my ghost concrete, playing out the musings on the page to work through whatever is perpetually blocking me. I tried. I failed. I am still left with the questions and I am still convinced that he is the only one with the answers.