She’s 23.  Her Brother, 22.

He orders a Tom Collins, and gets carded.  She, a Zinfindel. Dad, a tall ice water. “Sparkling, or Flat for you Sir?”  “Tap, Miami’s finest please.” After dinner cocktails in a hotel bar, with of-age children. Embrace the memories, block the melancholia. I fail, it seeps in and then overwhelms me, water around stone.

It’s a quiet Friday night. The Sushi Chef leans on the glass case and flirts with the cocktail waitress. She’s wearing a smart black skirt and jacket.  On the other side of the bar, middle aged lovers huddle, whispering.

A one-man band blows on an electronic wind instrument, alternating with a brass trumpet with a black trumpet cap.  His supporting cast, multi-colored bars flashing on a laptop and pumped out of tall, thin, floor standing speakers.  He sways to and fro, lips pursed on reed. The Chill music hangs, a sweet fine mist over the valley.  One could drop this, all of this, in Ramblas in Barcelona, in Gastown in Vancouver or the Dièse Onze in Montreal.  Vibe, Same.

The eyelids are heavy, barbells. The body, from its all day soak in the sun, the wind, and the ocean salt, aches for rest.

I watch them leave together, bar hopping. She leans into him with her shoulder, they laugh. How many times in their lifetimes? Hundreds of times where Mom, and Dad, the Heavy, broke up skirmishes, and worse. Salter’s Light Years: “Passing of life together, a compact that will never end…lives formed together, woven together.”  And Parents stitching, braiding, weaving it all in the hope of This. Look, This, a tapestry. Full body warmth rushes in.

I ride the elevator up.  Melancholy, a Tsunami now.

I turn in, and surrender.

∴  ∴  ∴

It’s 1:15 a.m.  They aren’t back yet.

With Eyes closed, the Rat works the Inside, sniffs and then gnaws at worst case scenarios.  I pull the covers up, chilled.

1:25 a.m. They aren’t back yet.

1:35 a.m. Nothing.

1:42 a.m.

I hear fumbling at the door with the key. And then giggling.  The door opens, loud whispers.

“Dad, why are you up?”

The Rat releases. The body surrenders and drifts off.

Rest, children. Rest.




  1. Kevin Byrnes says:

    Well said and I know that feeling all too well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a wonderful way of using words to evoke motions that we all feel, but can rarely express; thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Precious 🙂
    ALL of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember my mom waiting up for us at all hours of the night. And it will never end . . . that waiting up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautifully limned, pal, as always. I don’t have children, but been experiencing this from the *other* side with *my* parents. These days, anytime they get ready to go on a trip, I want them calling before they leave and when they get there, telling me where they’re staying, making sure they have their cell phones, the whole nine yards. And every once in a while, I catch myself in ‘mid lecture,’ and realize, “Ahhhh, yes, THIS is what they were talking about when I was growing up….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. P.S. And I love nothing more than a night like this with my brother. Those sibling bonds are special ones….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Know the feeling! The imagination feeds the anxiety. That’s the trouble when you love someone. But not to have them to worry about would be worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Any of us with kids totally get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Exactly. Well said, thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Every single night.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can relate. They have no idea how many times we wake up wondering about them. It’s all part of the parents DNA.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. no need for melancholy, this is the stuff that dreams are made of, kids grown and strong, having grown stronger together. sleep in peace. )

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I still worry about my kids when they leave and go to their own homes, on their own way. And they are 32 and 26. It never ends.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I remember my Mum waiting up for me and now I am doing the same for my two!!. It’s great they can go out together and enjoy each other’s company. You are always tired? Now I know why ha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Parents + that gnawing worst case scenario. An eternal equation. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “And Parents stitching, braiding, weaving it all in the hope of This. Look, This, a tapestry. Full body warmth rushes in.” – Simply BEAUTIFUL. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ah David, exquisite, and it never ever ends. Even from the other side of the Pacific Ocean, I wait for them to check in, the Rat always present , especially when a gentle query goes unanswered. .. And the melancholy a bare half heartbeat away..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 1. Children. One of the smartest things I never did. Neither they nor I would survive the Rat without serious harm.
    2. Your kids’ friendship is a miracle.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Perfect imagery, David. And familiar.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Blissful. Lovely story. Thank you for singing, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. As I experience a shift toward ‘closer’ with my sibs… this means a great deal. Thank you, David.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: