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Thread: Writer's Haven

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    Reflection of My Father

    I never knew my father; itís likely I never will. He left before I was born.

    I can only assume heís in prison Ė it seems to fit with what I know of him. He didnít leave me much of a legacy to trace Ė no footsteps of family to question. He just skipped town when he found out what heíd done; left my mother to bear a swelling burden alone. Still, when I look in the mirror, I wonder what features heís passed on to me. I imagine him the only way I know how Ė behind the visitation glass at some prison.

    My mother hated it when I grew my ponytail. Looking at the man on the other side of the glass, I can see why. My father bears the same ponytail. Its blonde has somewhat turned to gray. His hair is pulled back tight against his scalp, pulled into a ponytail that drapes down over his shoulder, white-gray against the orange jumpsuit. His shoulders are broad Ė more so than mine. I was always a slight child and Iíve grown into a slight adult. My shirts never fit right. Iíve got too-narrow shoulders and too-long arms Ė my father fills his shirt, the breadth of his shoulders match the length of his arms.

    His forearms are tattooed, the confederate flag and a serpent of thirteen parts on his left. It strikes me odd to consider him a patriot Ė even if itís a patriot of revolutions, successful or not. I remember growing up watching The Dukes, that orange car with the red, white, and blue flag. That car is now etched into the flesh of my fatherís right forearm. Why would someone get a tattoo of a car from an Ď80ís sitcom? But my imagination tells me it must be true.

    In my reverie I skip back up to his face; his grayish-blonde beard doesnít grow quite right, places on his face where hair simply wonít grow. Iíve got a few patches like that myself, a courtesy of his genes Ė a thin line on either side of my chin that stays smooth and never gets stubble-rough.

    His eyes are hazel, just like mine. His irises dark spots in the white and pink of his eyes, bits of green and brown dotted and swirled together like a poorly kept lawn. In my mindís eye, the eyes are watery and bloodshot. Is it because of this, our first father-son moment? Or is it because of some narcotic he managed to score behind the bars and glass? I donít know, and I canít figure out, why.

    The wrinkles on his forehead look like years-faint remnants of stitches-scars. They run parallel to each other but, occasionally, one breaks the trend and heads upwards, cutting across and through the others. I raise my eyebrows; creating ridges across my brow, deepening the trenches that I imagine are wrinkles on my fatherís forehead. In the mirror, I trace the wrinkles through the reflection of my own face.

    But the cold feel of the glass brings me out of my daydream, dispels my father and brings me back solely to my reflection in the mirror. And itís just as well Ė he didnít care enough to wait and find out who I would be, who I now am. Why shouldnít I also abandon him?

    Tracing the glass at the edge of the mirror, I let my hand fall away from it. My fingers smudge the glass.
    Last edited by ghost_warlock; 2008-10-03 at 02:09 AM.