Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Visitor

My father came to visit me at some point on Saturday. I'm not sure of the time as I was sleeping, though at the time of his visit, I wasn't sure I was. And my father is dead, for longer than my son, our oldest child, has been alive, to say nothing of his younger sister, our daughter, so I'm a little unsure about a lot more than just the hour on the clock of his visit.

In my dream if that was what I was having I was keenly aware that he was dead, and I'm very sure he, too, knew that as well but neither of us mentioned it, nor was I even slightly tempted when tested after some pretty serious provocations that my father might have insisted somewhat disingenuously were not intended as disparagements at all, unless 'a guilty conscience needs no accuser.'

Technical questions like how did he know where we lived and how did he know we were home weren't raised either in the course of the dream which, as I've sampled the literature may have lasted a mere moment but felt to me, the one having it, like unending hours.

I don't remember specifics in terms of words exchanged or topics of conversation but rather I recall the waking up and feelings of inadequacy and the sense of having him let him down that was so much of our actual lives together.

The sense of somberness and discouragement I carried with me for many hours Saturday morning after rising into the early afternoon where it was drowned out by the distractions of the day as it unfolded was sadly familiar as I felt that for so much of my growing up years.

The lie of 'it's for my own good' only covers so much bruising and so many scars when you say it to yourself as a kid with no power to refute or resist but a half century and more since you last said it, it helps not at all anymore.

I have no idea what triggered this visitation, if that's what it was, or what lesson aside from the profound disappointment I have been so far for him I was supposed to take away from the episode.

It won't discourage me from opening and welcoming whomever next knocks on my door, but it may have something to do with long I let them stay in my house, in my head or in my heart.
-bill kenny

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