\n\nfrom: Dad <learlandman.net>\nto: me\ndate: Sun, April 8, 2006 at 11:00 PM\nsubject: Called\n\n\n[[read the mail]]\n[[go outside]]\n
from: Dad <learlandman.net>\nto: me\ndate: Mon, April 17, 2008 at 12:30 PM\nsubject: Hi there\n\n\nDear Kid-\n\nI don't know why you don't write. It hurts me. I sometimes think you have worked out this myth of your own family. Your mother and father, your sisters, are almost grotesques of what they truly are: normal human beings with varying degrees of neurosis. Include yourself in the mix. I assure you if I have forgiven my sister for what I perceive as her trespasses, you can forgive just about anyone.\n\n[[read more]]\n\n\n\n
Hi.\n \nAnnie has been painting. Upstairs hall and the entrance from the garage. We bought a piece from Ethan Allan for the top of the stairs. It's coming Saturday.\n \nShoulder is improving. I'm getting around much better. Getting my right leg off the floor is the trick. I can lift my leg an inch onto a board on the floor. Been practicing. It's hard.\n \nTherapist comes three days a week, but I am not impressed with him. Might pay for my trainer Charlie. He's better than all the trainers I have gone to.\n \nIt's fall here now. Beautiful weather. I really want to get out.\n \nHope all is well with you. Here, America is going into the crapper.\n \nDad\n\n[[watch tv]]\n[[sit in the darkness]]
from: Dad <learlandman.net>\nto: me\ndate: Tues Sept 9, 2008 at 2:33 PM\nsubject: Hi there\n\n\n\nHi,\n \nCalled today but I guess you might be in Italy.\n \nFeeling better.\n \nDad\n\n[[one year later]]
You sit in the darkness for several months. The winters are long and icy. The sky the color of metal.\n\nOne morning there is another mail.\n\n[[read September 9, 2008]]\n\n
Been reading quite a bit...I read all 18 of Bernard Cornwall's novels about Richard Sharpe, a soldier who rises from the ranks to become an officer and a hero. The setting for the novels is the Napoleonic Wars, so I have found that most interesting. He's no Hemingway, but I like it.\n\nI'm feeling ok. It's a slow slide to oblivion with what I have. \n\nThe rowing sounds like fun. When I was younger I used to row a little. Maybe when you come visit we can try to rent something although you are going to do the lion's share of the rowing.\n\nBe well,\n\nLove,\nDad\n\n[[go out]]\n[[Think about Richard Sharpe's summer]]
\n\nA computer sits in an otherwise empty room. It is springtime and there are birds making noise outside. \n\nThe screensaver, normally a vortex of color, has stopped.\n\n[[go to the computer]]\n\n
You don't know the first thing about Richard Sharpe but summer comes quickly. \n\nYou have come here, to live in this new country. \n\nSoon you will have a new child. \n\nThere is a new desk, a new computer, and now there is 1 new mail.\n\n[[june 29, 2007]]\n
Work is work
You don't.\n\nYou can't.
\nWhen you open your eyes, there's another mail for you.\n\n[[don't read it]]\n[[read it]]\n
The main reason I teach now is to get out of the house. What friends I have who are not dead or in Florida are few in number. I could not fly very much last year due to my feet, but since they are much better since I have been taking Lyrica, I hope for a better year.\n\n[[read a little more]]\n[[go out]]\n\n\n
from: Dad <learlandman.net>\nto: me\ndate: Sun, September 8, 2008 at 11:43 PM\nsubject: Called\n\nHi,\n \nCalled today but I guess you might be in Italy.\n \nFeeling better.\n \nDad
It is rainy and grey and misty like you once imagined the moors to be. When you were young sometimes it seemed as though the only place that was safe was somewhere like this. Sometimes.\n\nThe rain continues to fall and the branches seem darker and lonelier.\n\nYou snap out of it. The leaves rattle. \n\nIt is [[one year later]]\n\n\n\n
...I have always shied away from this kind of discourse with you. I felt it would damage our relationship, but now I see that was a mistake on my part. There were times when I should have said more. I think it would have helped you in the long term. Helped with family, helped with your view of the world, with people, with taking care of things. At the very least giving you something to mull over.\n\n[[finish reading]]\n
[[Dad..]]\n\n[[Dear Dad]]
You watch tv for six months. Something good was probably on. It was funny and people laughed. People go by and their lives are important, probably more important than your own. Spiders make webs beside your bed and you recall little about who you used to be, or why it might have mattered.\n
from: Dad <learlandman.net>\nto: me\ndate: Mon, May 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM\nsubject: Grandma\n\nHi,\n \nMom asked me to say a few words at the funeral tomorrow. If you have any thoughts you'd like me to share, let me know.\n \nHow's the baby? How are you?\n \nLove,\n \nDad\n\n[[April 17, 2008]]\n[[stop reading]]\n
It is a wonderful day. The sky is a hard blue and made for gazing. Hours pass. There are a thousand things that seem worth considering. The slow march of ants like tiny pebbles. The hush and exhale of the wind in the trees. \n\nYou forget about the mail. \n\n
\n\nRe: Hi\n\nThis is Annie writing... we thought we'd log on and check your dad's facebook but it took so long to log on here that he fell asleep. I don't want to wake him because it's hard enough to get a quiet moment here at the hospital. Plans are to go home on Monday. Right now we are just trying to get him to eat and drink more. Stomach is still upset. That radiation should be slowing soon I hope.\n\n[[close your eyes]]\n
letters from my father
\n...Perhaps, you have already worked this all out. I hope so. \nI do not know if I will ever see your child. Your mother and sisters will. I envy them. Profoundly. Yet, I do want your child to know me. I am writing for her. She will know me. I shall be part of her life, if only through words, than so be it.\nLove,\nDad\n\n[[stare out the window]]\n\n
\n\n\n\n\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n...........................\n\n[[you keep staring out the window]]\n
\nSo much to take care of now. Maybe it would be easier to go back to work.\n\n[[work]]\n
You have one new mail in your inbox.\n\n[[open the mail]]
You have a wonderful vacation. You dream again. This time the dreams are of trees that speak, only you do not understand their language no matter how hard you try.\n\nWhen you wake there is a new mail waiting for you.\n\n[[August 2, 2009]]\n\n
Where you live the streets are wide and cobbled and there are many seagulls, white ones with black backs and orange beaks like daggers. Sometimes they land on the roofs of cars but mostly they fly overhead in wide arcs. \n\nWork calls.\n \n[[go to work]]\n\n
\nIt's from Annie. \n\nShe needs an inscription for your dad's headstone.\n\nYou'll think of one. \n\n\n\n\n\n
You work. A year passes. It's hard to know even what you did. Lying in bed in the dark it feels as though the stars are the only ones who really know the truth of it all.\n\nIn the middle of the night you wander into the computer room.\n\nIt is autumn outside. Leaves lie heaped on the ground.\n\nThere is one new message.\n\n[[read september 9, 2008]]\n\n\n\n
Nothing seems to come to mind. It shouldn't be so hard to write but it is. You wonder if it was so difficult when you were a child, sometimes. \n\nA year passes. Work is good. It is spring again and now you have a child.\n\nThere are two new mails in the inbox.\n\n[[April 17, 2008]]\n[[May 27, 2008]]\n[[read them later]]\n\n
It seems like a year but isn't. Life has been busy and mails might have been read but probably weren't.\n\nThere is another mail waiting for you today.\n\n[[may 14, 2009]]
\nfrom: Dad <learlandman.net>\nto: me\ndate: Mon, June 29 8, 2007 at 7:30 PM\nsubject: Hi there\n\nDear Kid-\n\nI was thinking about fatherhood and you. As I said on the phone, I think\nyou'll do just fine. The tough part is getting to the point of saying to\nyourself "I have to accept responsibility for someone else." Once you can\ndo that and lay your fears aside, you'll do just fine. Things have a way of\nworking themselves out. That's what I learned. I was always worried about\nbeing able to provide for everyone and carry a family on what I made. Only\nwhen mom went back to work was this anxiety pushed aside, but for ten years\nI sweated plenty. Once I became a supervisor, I lost my tenure. It was a\nlot to give up. But, I always looked at the worst case scenario and figured\nI had a enough back up to survive a disaster. \n\nKids are a great joy and they are not something you should miss. My only\nregret is that I do not remember more of those days. Some of the happiest\ndays of my life was when you were all children. Then, whatever was going on\nwith the rest of my life was on the backburner and I just flowed with the wonder of\nfatherhood and family.\n\nI had a few goals in life. They were very modest. I reached them all. One\nwas to be a parent and do it better than I experienced. I know I did. I\nwas not perfect, but parenting for me was a kind of in your face to my\nparents for what they didn't do for me.\n\nI learned much from you and your sisters, and you will learn much as a parent. It's a great education about love, commitment, responsibility and\nlife.\n\nLove,\n\nDad\n\n[[write a reply]]\n
from: Dad <learlandman.net>\nto: me\ndate: Wed, May 14, 2009 at 1:05 PM\nsubject: better\n\nHey kid-\n\nin theory I am better although you know how it is, ups and downs and it's slow recovery. Feeling better..beginning to make sense out of things. Optimistic, motivated and determined.\n\nLove\nDad\n\n[[feel hopeful]]\n
Your grandmother's food reminded you of being home. \n\nIt is such a simple thing, you say to yourself. \n\nYou want to be a child again just to remember what she sounded like, when your name was spoken like a prayer, so long ago.\n\n
David Goldfarb
The sun is bright. Day passes in a whirl of faces. Thinking back on it, you remember nothing much except the sound of wind in the leaves. \n\nMaybe it ends this way, and no one, not even you, ever has to feel anything again.\n\n\n\n
\nDear kid--\n\nThings are quiet here. I've been teaching. A night class. Very enjoyable. Although I may be reaching the point where I do not want to do it any more. \n\n[[keep reading]]\n