When I visited my folks in TN this past March, I spent time on the porch with my Dad. He has emphysema, weighs about 130 pounds and still smokes Marlboros and drinks Diet Pepsi. He wanders the empty farm looking for projects to remind him he’s a man but that aren’t too strenuous for him. A few times he'd start something like fix a fence or clean the barn before exhaustion drove him back in the house to take a nap.
One night we sat on the porch and we talked about his younger days. He was a wild child motorcycle cop in El Paso, Texas who used to drag race with his partner while on duty with my mom on the back. He picked up Little Richard one night for vagrancy. He took no shit from anyone, wonders why I would. I watched him wince for minutes on end at his hands, clenching and unclenching them like pliers. He confessed he doesn’t miss much about his youth. He’d had a pretty good one compared to many. I told him I bet it he missed dancing with the women at the bar. It was nice to see him smile.
I wish I had written this for my father. I think he wishes he’d written it for his.
Whiskeytown beat us to it.