Happy on Your Rules

I have been searching and fitting for a father figure; trying on teachers and TV lawyers for size. I want the perfect combination of aerial and atrium, someone who balances hearts and smarts without compromising on the dad-isms.

Because, right now, I feel like a package dropped off at the wrong house.

I know that you don’t like me, and it’s not because I hear you talk behind my back or witness your snide remarks — I have my mother for that. It’s because I don’t hear you. I don’t see you. I don’t talk to your or known your name. You are so far from me and I don’t know why.

A few weeks ago, my sister- whom is far kinder and which you like much more — pawed through the pages of our old scrapbooks. She will relive the days of her childhood until she is a child again.

“This is the happiest I’ve ever seen Dad,” I say, brushing a picture of him cradling her newborn body. I couldn’t imagine a picture like that of us; couldn’t dream of the coffee runs or chit-chat that they share.

“I know, I’m sorry,” she quietly and peculiarly mutters, burying her cheek in my hair.

I hadn’t been asking for an apology.

One time I tried to draw the holes that had been etched in my frame — calculate the parts of me that hurt so I could hack them off with a bonesaw. Big circles hurt me the most — they were runner up trophies and lost friends — every day circles, like grumbles and gripes, were regular grievances. They were small circles that rained on my everyday, in the form of divided attention, unanswered texts and missed meals. You were one big circle. Mom made me into a sky of little circular stars. You were just one thing, just one big hole: gone.

I think about envelopes that might as well have been empty because the letters inside were not read, and I get stuck on why my fourth grade self was never good enough. I live in unheard comments and unattended conversation; wanting a hallmark instead of a hang up.

As invisible as you appear to be in my life, I think I am invisible to you. But, when I look into my silhouette or spy my profile in the mirror, I see my mother’s nose traced down my face. Can things that are residue be invisible?

Sincerely, an Amazon Order Waiting for the Right Home