the dad thing again

i’m not sure if i’ve come to grips with the fact my dad’s dead…

…and i’m not sure when it’ll happen.

it was an odd experience. so, my last couple weeks at a glance – got the call thursday, rode out the weekend at the shop, got on the road by 10ish on monday, drove over eight hours up to amarillo where every sign that could be programmed to do so warned of a winter storm coming in. so, with zero response from my stepmom on what was going on i forged out on my own (my first time ever doing so in amarillo – only previous thing that ever got me to that shit hole was dad, although i guess he was technically the reason this time as well, just less entertaining company now) and i hit the gym, then had a bite, then my traditional road trip walgreen’s run and back to the hotel.

when i’m on the road i always find a walgreen’s nearby. the ufc has various ailments and allergies so it’s good for that, but you can also get milk for the morning (me), energy drinks for the morning (me, ufc, the boy) and something pm to help me sleep. on this occasion i also grabbed a beer my dad woulda liked because i capped myself at one drink with dinner thanks to google inappropriately labeling walgreen’s as closing at 10pm (they were open 24 hrs) and back to the hotel i went.

and that winter storm warning? this was my hotel view the next morning:

the ensuing run to whataburger to get an early green chile double (not available down here, which is criminal) dumped tons of snow INTO the rental and ONTO me. sue me, i’m not used to this shit. but by checkout time (1pm thanks to a brief call to the front desk) so i could run to the 2pm funeral all was clear.

the service was nice, but i’m still not sure why it happened. as in the “amarillo leg” of things. my thoughts, previously, was that it was done to save my stepsister from having to pull her girls out of school for a couple days to run to pflugerville but she did that anyway. i thought it would also save her the trip down, but she did that, too. and due to their age bracket and time in new mexico dad and jean’s peer group had dwindled to where the family, staff, and honor guard outnumbered the amarillo mourners three to one.

i was teased about an after meal at abuello’s, a west texas (NICE) tex-mex chain restaurant where dad and i sat down and mapped out the last twenty years of our relationship over great food and copious amounts of tequila. but at the eleventh hour we relocated to a restaurant closer to the hotel (which was also nice, but none of the emotional ties, although in hindsight that might have been best). i got on the snow capped roads at 5:04pm, and arrived in my driveway at straight up and down 1:30am.

so just south of 1150 miles in two days. plus those two days. almost $500 in expenses.

and we did it all over again, word for word, flag for flag (same flag folded and presented) again on thursday at the family plot which is only forty-five minutes from my house, one exit from an atomic location. this one:

that was dad’s only time in a tattoo shop – didn’t get anything done (jean would kill me, his immune system woulda freaked) but damn it, he’s been in one! one exit from the cemetery he’s now laid to rest in.

so i’m not sure why i did the amarillo thing or why it ever happened. but he’s gone, and eventually that might set in. but i don’t think it has yet.

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