Dear Dad

February 26, 2010

Audrey drove north on Highway 101. To the left, the ocean. To the right, the forest. A light rain was falling.

Dear Dad,

I just got the chills. On the first of February I went to a reading of a new play called “The Wilde Boy” about a son seeking reconcilation with his father (okay, he was late; Oscar was dead already). Now, weeks later, I’m seeing their shadows.

Photo by Pam Wells ©2010

She turned onto Highway 26 toward Portland. A fast-moving river skated alongside the road.

What do we know about February, anyway? You know “Groundhog Day” and all those insane repetitions? It’s true! I dug the beast out of my desk the other day. The novel that will not die. Don’t I do that every February?

My roses won’t die, either. Thank heavens. I pruned them like a pro, with loads of help from Felder. He has a good ear. Bit of a skeptic, too. You’d like him.

Evan, on the other hand, isn’t too likeable these days. Get this—he and a girl went to PDX to welcome visitors to the Vancouver, Washington Olympics. And last week he and his friend Max dented our refrigerator!! Evan was perfectly happy to cover it up and not tell me. He’s up one day, down the next. I wouldn’t be fifteen again. Not twenty-one again, either.

As the road climbed, Audrey passed Camp 18, an old lumber mill-turned-restaurant.

Dad, Joe came back.

He showed up on Monday, and gave me this cockamamie story about meeting a girl in Colorado, taking her to Texas and getting arrested for marijuana possession. He says he spent two months in jail. Then he looked up a Hollywood guy he met at the Austin Film Festival, went to L.A. to work for him, and now he thinks he’s a SCREENWRITER!!

She passed an orange “Detour” sign as rain turned to sleet. She drove around a fallen tree marked with traffic cones.

I would’ve been out of my mind if Todd hadn’t let me know Joe was okay. How crazy is that? I have to find out from my son in Japan that his older brother isn’t dead but is somewhere in the state of Texas. Or the state of Los Angeles. I don’t know how long he’ll stay at the coast, or if he’ll come home to Portland. I wish he hadn’t inherited that money from Walter. Isn’t that ironic? The money he got from his grandfather is keeping him away from his own father.

She pulled off the highway and parked in front of a tiny post office.

When are you coming to visit?

Love,

Audrey

P.S. The Pullets are on Facebook now. Evan is mortified. Heh heh. I said, “Evan, chill!”

©2010 Pam Wells

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One thought on “Dear Dad

  1. I love the crafting of the letter as she drove. I really felt myself in that intimate space, alone in the car with your thoughts. Beautiful.

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