Sunday, November 30, 2008

Top of the World

I remember when you seemed larger than life to me.  You were the one who took care of everything, the one who put food on the table, who worked hard everyday.  When I was little I had yet to discover all the trouble in our house.  All the bad stuff caused by you.  

As I drove over the Tappan Zee Bridge the other day you popped into my head.   I was approaching mid span staring at the little flashing red lights at the very top when tears began to well up in my eyes.  I could almost hear your voice say "Breaker 1-9, I am at the top of the world.  Over." with the country twang you forced over your Bronx accent when talking on your CB.  And just like that, there I was sitting next to you in the front seat of your '79 maroon Volkswagon Rabbit as we headed over that bridge to pick up Grandma for the weekend.   When I looked at you all I saw was my dad.  It would be years before I would realized you were a drunk.  And even more years until I would accept it.  

You loved that dam CB and the huge antenna that popped onto the rear bumper of the Rabbit.  You brought it in the house at night so you could keep on talking with all the truck drivers on channel 19.  You were the Amoco Man, and I was Rosebud Marie.  I felt special.  It was one of the very few good memories I have of time spent with you as a child.   
As I crossed over the top of the world heading toward the tolls the tears continued to fall and I missed you all over again.

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