I Lost Her Forever
If no one sees it happen does that mean no one will believe it did.
Confession: once while I was bench pressing I dropped the bar on my chest and got stuck. I was twenty something and at the end of my workout.
Because I was young and invincible I didn’t have a spotter and I figured that it was only 225 pounds. Since I could lift far more I arrogantly believed that even though I was exhausted I could run through a fourth set and all would be fine.
It was until my arms went on strike and I the bar came crashing down on my chest.
I refused to ask for help and began squirming my way into a position to push the bar off of me but was spared potential injury when someone noticed my struggle and ran over to help me.
I Lost Her Forever
“Daddy, mommy is crying in the kitchen. You need to help her.”
I looked at my daughter and told her this was one of those times where it was ok for an adult to be upset. My son looked at his sister and then at me, “dad we don’t know how she died.”
“I think she had a stroke, but I really don’t know. I am not sure that is the part that matters. Mom and Katie have been friends since they were four. Go give her a hug, you’ll help more than you know.”
Katie was only 44. She had was a very sweet woman but she was a mess and had been for years. If you wanted to see what mental and emotional abuse could do to a person she was a good example about why some parents should lose their kids.
I met her when my then fiancee introduced us in ’95. I liked Katie, she was nice and very sweet but I thought Vegas was a bad place for her and her husband to live. They drank and smoked too much for a place like that.
They thought so too so they moved out into the Nevada desert. I don’t know how much that helped or hurt, we didn’t see them often. Life got in the way.
“Dad, come here too, we all need to hug mom.”
“Jack, I lost her forever. I should have done more.”
“You did as much as you could, you couldn’t fix what was broken there.”
Later that evening my son asked me to explain.
“Dad, what was broken and why couldn’t it be fixed?”
“It is complicated. Her parents did a number on her, when she was little they told her she was bad and she never forgot that. Some things stick with you.”
Jerusalem, Texas & The Desert
I am standing in the Judean Hills, alone in the moonlight staring off towards Jerusalem and thinking about the home I intend to build. It is not imminent, this home I want. I am 25 and though I want to be a father I know I am not ready.
Alone in the darkness I try to picture the life I want to create but even though I think I know what I want the images are blurry. I see faces but I can’t quite make them out.
Decades later I am wandering through Hulen Mall in Fort Worth and I realize I haven’t heard anyone speaking Hebrew in forever. It surprises me at how loud the silence is.
The guy at the counter hands me my pretzel and I sit down to eat, think and watch the people walk by. Once I was convinced I would live my life in Israel but now I am not sure if that will ever happen.
Texas is home.
I look around and think about how comfortable I feel. The silence in some areas is jarring but it is ok, because I have known for years that one day I would live here.
Never really understood it until now, but recognition settles in and I understand it is one of several places that just feels like home. One of several places that I am connected to, that I feel like I have long history with.
Many months later I’ll lock my apartment, hop into the car and head back towards LA.
Alone in the desert I’ll see more images in my head of the life I have had and the one I am creating but the faces aren’t completely blurred anymore.
Some are the same and some are…new.
I can dunk a tennis ball on the ten foot rim and can even get a volleyball through but the basketball keeps slipping out of my grip.
Eventually I put one through, but I can’t tell you if I look like Jordan or some awkward kid flailing through the air. There is no video, no film nor photo of it.
It is just me and an empty gym.