I keep staring at my list of notes to write and yet instead of writing notes or meditating or going to my yoga mat, I find myself staring at another game of Spider Solitaire. My brain won’t work. I’d like to call this procrastination- another flare up of Paperwork Aversion Disorder, Chronic type with Facebooking Tendencies but it’s not. It’s – and here my brain continues to falter, stutter, a clenching in the gut: my father has cancer and now my brain won’t work. I thought I would cry a lot or have meaningful contemplations of life and death or reflections on family dynamics. Nope. None of that. Instead I’m stunned and stunted blank and drifting into a numb dumb backwater or waiting for What Comes Next. It’s the same feeling I remember when I was little and hadn’t cleaned my room. The beating was going to come. I am not the daughter my father was expecting. There have been periods of rebellion in the form of a shaved head, unshaven legs, tattoos, liberal politics, obnoxious music, attempts at deep and meaningful connection; all anathema to him. And yet, some part of him I believe reaches back.
I remember going to the NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1993 after graduating from college with him- the Coca-Cola 600. Both of us drunk mid-day and caught on the wind of someone’s radio playing Jimmy Buffet in the distance we danced in the infield, singing, smiling. I didn’t give a shit about the race and had come almost 300 miles to meet him on his track to be together. It’s just now that I can get how far he travels at times to meet me on mine.
Camille is a local psychotherapist and teaches writing classes on Wednesdays when not caught in procrastination.