| His blue Irish eyes, watered and wrinkled from those damn Winstons, looking out, looking aged, he awakes again, sitting on the edge of his bed, his long gray and white chest hairs climbing up his neck like an ivy vine on the side of an old Irish textile factory. He locates his Poland Spring 12 oz. Bottled water, 1 quarter of the way full, and possibly swallows down two 500 ML Tylenols, before making his way to the new and improved bathroom with green tiles, and white shutters. He stands there shaving in the steamy mirror with either a Shop Right blade, or a Gillette, his nose hairs needing to be clipped. It is 4:30 am, and my father is heard, the gargoyles and the swooshing of saliva and nightmarish spitting of toothpaste are heard from the top of the attic stairs where my bed rests 4 ft. away. Yes, my father goes to work. My father goes to toil. He closes the wooden oak door, and his children sleep. As we hear our father’s noises in the morning, we are reminded that he is a hard working Brophy Irishman. When I would often scurry down the stairs to fetch a glass of tap water from the faucet, he would say to me, “You early bird, boy, get back in bed.”
My father is a man of mystery. I do not know much about him. But every now and then he will tell us about his experiences as a young kid and how his brothers would settle matters with fistfights and running races. He would tell us about the snow being 6 feet deep, and sledding onto the icy lake, and his brother Gerard saving Johnny Car, the neighborhood enemy, from drowning. I know he met my mother on a double date, and hitchhiked to her college, and got married at the age of 19. Then he was brave enough to have 8 children, each with a gift of their own.
My father likes Ming Fang Chinese food, and Ted’s pizza, and you would hear him say on the phone, “Hey Tony, how yaw do’n, uhhhh … let me get one large pie, half meatball, and half sausage … 15 minutes, alright Tony, bye.” My father would dance in the aisles of the grocery store, and watch the cashier like a snake, making sure he wasn’t getting ripped off. He would often get panic attacks as we crossed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and ask my mother to drive, and yelling, “Pat, watch this trucker to your right!”
My father is humorous. I can still see the yellow station wagon blowing up at the corner of Bryant St., and him jumping out scratching his head, in disbelief and shock, but with a smirk on his face as every single fire truck in the township of Rahway arrived in less than 3 minutes. He understands what it means to have a family, and the responsibilities that come with it. He has been attending to the finances and bills, there in the dining room with pen in his ear, and hand on his forehead for more than 30 years. He is a quiet man, I think, and I picture him in my mind praying in the car as he drives to work, praying for his children, and fixing his hair with his 5 inch black comb in the rearview mirror while stopped at a red light. Like every man, I’m sure he suffers and struggles. But, I know he is a fighter, a man with a faith in a God that breaths in him life, that gives him hope to live another day. My father is a strong and honorable man, and if he weren’t afraid to fly in an airplane, and had a few bucks in his jean pockets, he would tour Ireland in a second.
You must be logged in to add tags.
Homelessness. Poverty. Hunger. Men under bridges with rain dripping on their scruffy faces.
Every day I am exposed to these tragedies. I can't help but to address them, somehow. But in them, in the corners, in the cracks of the paint, or on the walls in graffiti, their is some message of hope for the viewer. I guess what I want to say is this - in our darkest most depressing of times, there is hope, we just have to find it, to look at our life, to listen to it, and find it.
I like this story... Zorica Vukovic
| Oct 27th, 2004
Hope you are going to publish more of your works
You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up
for free or login