Friday, January 28, 2011

my new style

"I've become my dad," I said to Kevin just after we retired a few years ago. 

It was round about midnight and I was putting on some music.  I could.  I no longer had to be anywhere at 8:00 am.  Eight was now the hour I might begin to wake, only to turn the pillow over looking for a cool, smooth, spot.

So, I put on Miles.  Just like my dad used to do.  As a teenager, many nights at midnight, I'd yell down the stair rail "Daddy, could you turn it down?  I have school tomorrow!"  He'd apologize and the apartment would get quieter for awhile before the music would start up again.

"I've become my dad," I said again to Kevin the other day. 

I am wearing my father's clothes. 

I have some shirts.  Two weeks before he passed away, we talked about the striped, Oxford, button down.  It was in the clean laundry load I was hanging up, and I told him I thought the shirt had reached that perfect stage; it still had body but the cotton was worn to incredible softness.  You wanted to touch it. 

He threw in that it was also the perfect size stripe; not too wide, not too thin.  Classic.  That was my dad. 

The shirts were an afterthought.  When he died, there were only two things I really wanted; his music collection and his black cashmere sweater.

Every man should have a cashmere sweater, he would tell me.  Well, I say, every daughter should have her father's cashmere sweater. 

Tonight we're celebrating my mother's 85th birthday, gathering with friends at a local wine bar to listen to a great jazz quartet.  My dad would want it that way.   

I'm going to wear the luxurious, black sweater even if it hangs to my fanny.  An unnecessary assurance that he's there with me.

It will be a soft hug that lasts all night long.

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