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Moonlit Ride

October 7, 2011

jennybadman

Dear Dad,

Because I don’t have your opinion to ask anymore, I often feel uncertain. My self-esteem sometimes gets tied up and dependent upon silly things that seem crucial at that particular moment. Later, I shake my head at myself for doubting my capabilities and capacities. I try to think of things you said to me years ago when I was in doubt, or in tears. I make decisions more quickly now, but I don’t feel confident in many of them. I make them, and hope, if they’re wrong, they will quickly reveal themselves as such. This is part of it – the loss of you. Me feeling uncertain about me because you are not here. Me feeling somehow unsafe. I could not have guessed how those feelings would and have manifested. Mostly because the way in which they manifest differs daily, vastly.

More than two years ago, two friends and I drank a bottle of gin, piled onto a moped and took off downtown to “watch the moon rise over the water.” At first, I protested, still lucid enough to realize the inherent danger and stupidity of this undertaking. I quickly caved to the collective “come onnnnn…”

As we three drove over the bridge, I told my friend that my butt was, in fact, falling off the back of the moped and soon the rest would follow. “I’m falling off,” I said urgently. She responded by silently gripping my butt with both hands.

I didn’t fall.

I remember looking down at the asphalt as we sped on, thinking how quickly everything could go horribly wrong. No one with a helmet. All of us careless, yet somehow carefree.

I was certain you were watching this from wherever you are. The moon, always my sign for you, was out, big as a beach ball, lighting up the water. I imagined first that you were angry – then, laughing.

I was much too old to be doing something so reckless, so stupid. And yet, somehow, I felt alive in my fear, exhilarated by the knowledge that I was purposely doing something I knew was dangerous and irresponsible.

For some reason, I had to feel like I could actually die. To see if you would save me? So you didn’t seem quite so dead?

I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe the gin does.

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3 Comments

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  1. October 9, 2011

    Dad cannot prevent your foolish episodes. But because of him you know it was foolish. Se he was there, wasn’t he?

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