Papa feels his lowest when he's alone or unoccupied. I suppose he sat home on this strangely cool Sunday evening and surrounded himself with dreamy images of a life not his own: a wife near at hand, a child standing by his chair, asking him questions and trusting his answers, the room bright and warm and filled with the trappings of a life well-lived, ever changing, evolving, surprising. In this daydream he is very much like his departed father, a gentle, steady presence who has survived his days of loneliness and boredom and doubt and now wonders: Did that really happen? I cannot be so happy now when once, not long ago, I sat alone with my radio headphones and newspapers and plate and cup, surrounded by ghosts of what might never be, ghosts who seemed more alive than I, bragging ghosts who flaunted what I did not have, noisy, distracting, so brilliant in their spite I was unable to mark my diary with anything but a single word: Empty.
It really happened, but still, Papa, this was you: