Dad Ever Since He Retired

Something must be wrong, I tell Jessica. Dad called. He wouldn’t talk. Mom said he might be dying, or maybe it was just my dad being dad. Jessica suggests I stay in bed with her. She says it is Saturday morning.

I must get to the bottom of this. I drive up the driveway and throw open the front door. Dad is lying on the floor in his bedroom. I try to move him back into the living room. He can’t get up. I say, “Dad, can you get up?”

“Son, did the Yankees win the pennant? I can’t find my remote.”

“It isn’t over yet. They are winning.” Mom is making his breakfast—ham and eggs, toast, and biscuits and gravy. “The way your mom cooks, after sixty years it will kill you. Oh yes, that and love or I should say, the lack of it.”

“Dad, it is her way of dealing with things. She really shouldn’t be doing all that at her age.”

“Son, I want you to have my new Toro riding lawn mower. I won’t have space for it where I’m going. Yes, and keep all the good photographs in the family.”

I search his bedroom. I am looking for his papers. Someone will have to call the insurance company. I find a personal vibrator in the chest of drawers. I can’t tell Mom. She is a born-again Christian, but she thinks he too is going to heaven. He then gets up and goes and has his breakfast.

The phone rings. The coach is calling for me to replace my father in right field. It is in the ninth inning. I grab my glove. Someday it will be my son’s glove. This time, my grandson, I mean my son, might be back from the concession stand and watching from the bleachers. Other than that, every day is no different. I nudge Jessica, but she has fallen back to sleep.

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