I laid with my head in David’s lap.  We starred together at the pendulum hanging motionless behind the etched glass of my dad’s grandfather clock.

“Dad used to say that you could set your heart by that clock,” David reminisced.

When you grieve, time doesn’t seem to pass in regular increments.  It lurches forward.  Each hand stumbling ineptly after the last in search of a meaningful rhythm.

“So what do we set our hearts by now?” I asked.

He shook his head slowly, pursing his lips.  “I don’t know.”

The ice clinked against the edges of his glass as he swirled his whiskey.  Of course David didn’t know, he was as broken and lost as I was.  I felt helpless, perhaps hopeless even in that there didn’t seem to be anything I could do to ease his suffering.

We sat quietly for several minutes.  When I was sure he was asleep, I slowly slipped out from under his arm resting over my shoulder, and placed the empty glass on the table.

I hadn’t been in my dad’s office since just before I left for Camden.  I smiled as I entered.  It was exactly the way he left it; only a little dustier now.  This was my favorite place in the whole house.  The semi-sweet aroma of dried fig and maple leaves still lingered.  He always burned candles that reminded me of my favorite season.  Autumn.

This is where I came to find peace.  This is where I played my cello.  It rested gracefully in its stand, waiting patiently for me to bring it back to life.  I stood next to it, tempted to pluck the lonely neglected strings, but instantly recoiled my fingers as I reached.  I didn’t want to touch anything or take anything from its place, afraid it would somehow change my memory.

Cello was our thing, mine and my dad’s.  He bought it for me when he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, where I was born.  I found the giant sitting alone in the corner of a music shop where we went in search of a guitar for David’s sixteenth birthday.   The old man who owned the shop watched me plucking the strings as I pretended to perform for an audience.  He placed a bow in my hand and showed me a few notes and I’ve been addicted ever since.  My dad didn’t buy it that day, but it was waiting for me in the living room on the morning of my eighth birthday.  My dad was always my biggest fan.  I don’t think I could ever play for anyone else.  I sighed.  David should just pack the thing away.

  1. dollyperry says:

    You’ve posted again. yay!

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