May. 8th, 2017

whynot: Once Upon a Time in Mexico: malaguena salerosa (up in lights)
 1. retirement for my dad isn't relaxation. that doesn't seem to be his dream. the dreams he is realizing, the ones he's pursuing now that he has the time and funds to, is to serve. in his twilight years, he seems to be getting his internal ducks in a row. finding order, finding peace in this way. he's working on a panel that approves climate change grants in southeast asia. he gives workshops to university students on how to improve their grant proposals for future projects. he's donating our old house to an orphanage and naming it for my mom, in honor of my grandparents. this moves me. i didn't get along with my mom, but i predict my dad will go through the rest of his life naming every good and beautiful thing in his life for her. our house, the stars, the sea - he'll call them by her name just so she is still in this world with him. the stars come back every night. the waters rise. he knows this. that's why he persists.

2. and then me. and then my love, and all the things i'd name for him. isn't it rude to want to measure joy? i'm curious yet content. a handful of secret names and a collection of habits curated over the course of almost half a life. the habit of constant and casual intimacy. my hand sliding along his forearm as i pass by. eye contact across a room then we kiss the air at each other at the exact same time because that's what muscle memory does. a certain angle of the head means kiss me. a casual kiss on the forehead as we carry dirty glasses to the kitchen is a thoughtless throwaway thing, too ubiquitous to be high in value. but we value it, which is the same as how we have it, which is the same thing as years of learning how to do this, knowing we'll never get it perfect but too deeply a part of one another to care. the bedroom is a mess. i like to hold him when the sun flickers gold on our white walls. i like to hold him when i can hear the rain outside. all my favorite stories are now rooted in this. a long-learned guilt says it's arrogance, that one day i'll pay for all this happiness. everyone who ever resented me will rejoice when i am hurt. i can't stop it; it leaks through in my beliefs. it leaks through in the stories i tell. i love you, i'm home. i love you i love you i love you and i'm home. if i keep this at arm's length for fear of losing it, i'll regret it. i know i'll regret it. he wakes up to kiss me, then burrows into my neck and goes back to sleep. this is what i use to remind me that life goes on, that it waits for me no matter what. and that's why i persist.

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