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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 33: Where do we go from here?

KT Man,

This morning, your mom and I sat quietly in my office overlooking your forest yard. It was early and quiet. The only break in the silence was my question: “Linda, where do we go from here?” She said, “I don’t know.” So there you have the subject line and the subject. The books are everywhere. Questionable. A wall with awards and plaques. So what? A Hammond B3 pilot station for work: Purposeless. A photographer’s corner for picture framing: Painful. The office with more options to sit than people as options. But it’s her favorite place to bring in the day and my place for work, now respite from work.

We’re officially into football season. Footballers everywhere on TV and in the traffic on the street. It was your go to game in conferences spread across the country. And you played multiple leagues: knew player’s names, skills, plays, teams. By the way, the three players we admitted to the program are locked into the Duck way of play. We’ll keep that one quiet.

How did you learn all this stuff? It’s not like your mom and I are footballers to the core. Your sister can only identify the ball and even then, on occasion, can tell who has it and where they’re going with it. Never why. But it’s more than that. How did you learn to navigate being with people in your unassuming way? We only taught you the basics. You know: Remember to say ‘thank you’. Always ask with ‘please’. Take your turn. Share. But all the other stuff, those nuances of interacting with others to give them credibility, respect their presence, make a difference, provide support, quietly ignore minor discrepancies as silly differences not worth noting. How do we now learn from you with you not here? God, I wish I had paid closer attention to you when you were here instead of now having to play the tapes over and over again. KT: Where do we go from here? It’s Day 33 and the difference from previous days is not sufficient to see.

I made up a stupid math problem in trying to resolve your presence. It’s your basic fraction problem depicted as a circle divided into four sections, one section for your mom, me, your sister, and you. Then, you take those four sections and form Venn diagrams across them “that show all possible logical relations between a finite collection of different sets,” to quote Wikipedia. Well, first of all, you get a mess. But then, you realize these four quadrants simply aren’t distinct. So much of you is in each of us, that we just need to accept that the circle is, well, a circle. One thing. No quadrants. No fractions. Just a circle with lots of space inside. Plenty of space for all of us.

It’s the only way to go forward buddy. We have to have you in our life. You just can’t go out this way. Not show up at the door with your 10 mile smile. Not call to tell your mom that you love her. Oh, and by the way, also hit up the JTM machine for your latest whatever. Not look at me with questionable certainty. We can’t make it go away and we can’t let you go out this way.

We love you so much, Dogg Man. Please stay with us so we know where to go from here.


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