Saturday, June 30, 2012

Missing the Old Man

My father has been in Cuba for a week and I find myself missing him when I eat the Sunbeam wheat low-calorie bread I bought for him to combat his diabetes and made every morning toasted with a slice of honey turkey.

I am now sitting in his spot: corner of the dining room table overlooking our large bay window toward the back of the house. He'd endlessly sit here working on his mind-melting sodoku puzzles, beard hanging over the keyboard, or reading El Pais. He would manage his way around his facebook page or marvel at interviews of Ernesto Cardenal on youtube. This is where we sat and watched Juan de los Muertos. My father confided in me one afternoon, coming out of the shower I helped him take so that his surgery wound would remain dry, that the worst crime the Cuban government committed was to deprive Cubans access to the internet.

I miss the old man at lunch time when we sat together and I'd serve him his brown rice with fish and salad with spinach. Silvia Sarasua would be so happy to know I am eating spinach, he would say. I'd serve him water and sugar-free soda. Then I would eat the same thing. He'd want dessert and I would serve him Jell-o. I miss helping him back to his bedroom at night and watching the entire NBA playoffs right to the very last game of the Heat-Thunder series. Shit, I even miss preparing the insulin needle with 25 units in the morning. He was down to needing only 15 units before he left. I miss the blood sugar tests with the Walgreens machine. Cheering together when he registered - scored - below 140. We were conquering diabetes and high blood sugar and the unhealing and unholy forces which attacked his foot and required the amputation of the little toe. We were together.

Damn this fucking sea waving between the old man and me.

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