“He liked to read with the silence and the golden color of the whiskey as his companions. He liked food, people, talk, but reading was an inexhaustible pleasure. What the joys of music were to others, words on a page were to him.”
Homesick Reminisces: A Mile High Above the Comoros
*Written in March 2015 aboard Air Madagascar Flight #77 (Antananarivo-Moroni)
A Mile High Above the Comoros
As I am pulled towards Comoros several miles high I read a passage in Goldfinch. The main character, Theo, recalls appeasing his mother and letting her hold his hand without protest.
As I peer out the window at endless blue skies and riffs of white clouds, my thoughts are drawn to you my dear daughters. The sweetness and nearness of our time together and the raw youth of my memories of you. I think of tussling and wrestling with you--of hoisting your torso above me--you flying or 'supermanning' without any inkling of the superman connection in your toddler minds. Me lying on the living room rug--the two of you suspended above me. Betty your toothy smile announcing itself as I lean you back past my head and lower you upside down close to the ground--and then suddenly whoosh you back above me--your squeals of delight. Macee, you never liked that aerobatic maneuver. Instead you were implacable in your desire to be hoisted above me --your stomach resting on the bottoms of my feet. But most often I could barely keep you aloft as you squirmed in coiled waves of screaming tickled giggles. Lowering you down before you would fall you would instantly beg 'mo flying mo flying'.
Wondering when these magic moments will end feels like someone just socked me in my stomach. Nausea claws at my thoughts. Tears threaten to escape. It feels all more likely and near since you are my daughters. As sons to my father--my brothers and I wrestled with my dad (your grandfather) well into our teens. But for you girls, I can't imagine these wrestling airborne moments will last too many more years--because you are girls of course--not boys that will want to knocked and thrown about into adolescence. Then all I will have will be these fading faded memories of your faces above my face--of your crooked perfect smile Macee --your toothy grin and joyfully scrunched nose Betty -- and the words scattered upon this page.
As I turn back to the journey of Theo, my only solace for these melancholy mementos are the decreasing days until I see your shining faces and the exploding peals of daddy daddy greeting me.