All Too Familiar
The quilt reaches up to my chin; its fabric rough but also comforting and familiar.
I lie awake and wonder what this house must have felt like 40 years ago,
my grandfather still alive, my father young and asleep in the room next to this one,
and my grandmother—poised, proper, and suffering—suffocating under
the pretenses. My feet wander beneath the sheets as my mind follows and wanders
to my father. I wonder how he feels sleeping in this very room whenever
he visits, I wonder how he feels becoming a guest in what used to be his home. I run
the coffee colored patchwork across my cheek, noticing for the first time
the lace and flowers, the duality of soft and rough. Sliding my hands down the seams
I wonder what my father thinks about when he lies in this bed. I wonder if
he notices the details in the same ways that I do, feels the weight of it all. And I wonder
how it is that sleeping in the same bed under the same heavy blanket is as
close to my father as I’ll ever be—tangled up in this mixture of distance and intimacy.
Pulling the quilt up further I allow myself to be buried beneath its warmth.
Closing my eyes I can almost smell his classic combination of old spice, swisher sweets,
and rage—the feeling is rough, yet somehow comforting and all too familiar.