This past week has been weird. I found myself on more than one occasion reminding myself to go see how my father was doing. This past October marked the second anniversary of his death. I couldn’t look at him lying in that coffin. That was a conscious choice. I wonder, if I had, would I now be having these very much alive thoughts of him? Or would my thoughts be blunted by the stark reality of him lying there, not looking like himself. Who knows. Well pops, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you are clearly in my head. And it is nice to have an ‘alive’ vision of you outside of that box.
Arms outstretched mimics an airplane as he moved through the crowded sidewalk, banking to the right, banking to the left, then right again. Thinning the crowd as he claimed space among pedestrians, he crouched, right hand with drumstick wobbling between soiled fingers then in syncopated rhythm on the concrete sidewalk. Left arm extended skyward, grasping a trumpet flailing through the air. He brings pedestrians to a teetering halt as he drums at their feet. He looks up revealing weathered, sun beaten features, smudged cheeks, and matted disheveled hair. With a twinkle in his eyes, through a snaggletooth grin he asks,“ How are you little lady?” As he stands upright he brings the trumpet to dried lips and begins to blow TAPS. He is no longer invisible. The crowd slows, heads turn, all in full gaze and focused on the player. Time slowed, scurrying had eased to a crawl. And the crowd was forced to attention. TAPS had struck a chord.