The Ballad Of…

I’m aggravated that I can’t remember the name of that song right now. You played it for us one night when the back room was still yours. Ballad of Hollis Brown? Was that it? I can’t remember, but I want to listen to it. I need the notes, something to cling to besides blips of memory. What was that fucking song…?

I hate this. The complete and utter helplessness, uselessness. Wish it could be mine instead. Surprised it’s not mine instead. Weird fucking twist of fate that seems like cosmic dark humor that far surpasses my own. Fate, as always, you’re a raging cunt.

Judgement could fall this family as so little in some people’s eyes but they are so great in mine. A chaotic maelstrom of human emotion constantly holding each other up and keeping each other afloat. Their own little solar system. So much love in that house. So lucky to have it extended to me when I needed it. How often I ran there as a refuge from whatever battle I was waging. How often you accepted me at your doorstep without question (maybe with a dirty joke re: your son, but not so much question).

I’ve always loved the scars in people. The “flaws”. Good people always have a checkered story. Very few really interesting people have squeaky clean floorboards.

I remember going to pick you up in Ann Arbor from treatment. Wish I remembered it more for whatever conversation we had on the way back than I do the moments on our return. Although, I’m not even sure that I remember that afternoon correctly anyway. So many moments jumble into memories turned fuzzy around the edges.

I won’t romanticize you anymore than we do Aaron or I do my Grams. The real person is more than enough to love, I don’t need or want the heroic fairy tale variations people like to eulogize.

Simply, thank you. Thank you for your kindness, candor, and way of being. Thank you for giving me a father figure that doesn’t suck.

What now, don’t know, just wish I could take the burdens off your kid’s shoulders. However, that’s a battle we’ve been waging for way longer than this. Giving is his path; we’re just trying to make sure the destination isn’t a steep cliff. Keep an eye on him from the stars, sure you will, in one way or another.

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