trucks & trains

Dear Papa,

Today was a day. I managed to lose my wallet today, which is just my luck. It is the smallest of things that are immensely frustrating these days.

I think I’m starting to feel just how much of a toll all of this is taking on me. I barely feel like physical matter today. The past three weeks, having my brother here and trying to avoid his anger. Going through the holidays. Constantly having my mother cycle through being sad, being angry, being fine, being helpful and back again. I wake up each morning bracing for the effects of my failings. I mean, if my own family thinks that I am stupid and selfish and spoiled, could it truly be that far from the truth?

I’m not sure what to believe these days. I drive the long drive to work every morning, in the dark, crying most of the way. I clean myself up in the parking lot and go in and do my job, anywhere from 6 to 10 hours. I come back to my vehicle and drive the long drive home in the dark, crying most of the way. I putz with the fires and try to get the cat to come into the living room, to no avail. She hasn’t been the same since you’ve been gone. I know she doesn’t like me. She always liked you — the one who held her on that car ride home in your hands, showing her the world out the truck window. And now you’re not here.

Papa… I hate everything. Mostly myself. All I wanted to do is what was right, what I thought was planned. Now I mostly wonder why I’m still here. Why did you have to go? Why wasn’t it me? Why wasn’t I still in this house? I could’ve called someone. I could’ve been here when it happened. Maybe things would be different now. Maybe they wouldn’t. Maybe everyone would still despise me in the quiet ways that they do, for just wanting to be here, for just wanting to take care of this place and build a little bit of a life. Everyone else gets to have one, why can’t I?

I miss you so much and I can’t even tell anyone. My mother told me the other night that I’m such a selfish and spoiled person because I wouldn’t be in this house or have the money that came through if you hadn’t died. She told me I forget that. Like I could forget any of it? It’s all I think about. It’s all I know. And while I always thought I would wind up here, I thought it would be at the end of your long and fulfilled life. Not now. Not early. The only reason I have the money is to hoard it. So when something arises here, I can take care of it. I don’t want anything else. Nothing else matters any more. How could she say I’d forgotten?

Dad, I don’t know what to do any more. I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I keep going through the motions because that’s what you do, right? But I feel lost. I feel isolated. And all I can think about is how much I wish I could see you just one more time. How much more I would take note of. How much more I would’ve said and asked and absorbed. I hate that I’ll never get to hug you again. That I’ll never get to hear you tell silly jokes any more. That we’ll never get to watch another movie together or sit on the couch with the cat or eat another meal. None of it. I can’t stand it. There was supposed to be so much more time and now there’s none and the void beyond this time is terrifying.

I am the outsider now, I was always the black sheep but now I am the outsider and it hurts like nothing I could have dreamt up.

I… I’m sorry Papa.

Love always,

Me.

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