the dreamers

            The inability to initiate anything runs in the family. We’re masters of continuity, protectors of empty traditions. The characteristics of each generation trickle down to us: the mad one, the thief, the poet, and the drunk. We are all Sisyphus, doomed to a cyclical fate, weighed down by the same, immense boulder. We are always tired, because escape means nothing. Hope means nothing.

            Our father has been gone for years. He didn’t take anything. All his clothes are still in the closet next to my mother’s soft dresses, like phantom husks that occasionally whisper to us when we run our fingers through them. The note he left on the kitchen table that morning was stained with drops of coffee. We like to imagine that his hands shook as he wrote.

            He didn’t take his favorite things. His grey felt hat dangles dolefully on the coat rack. His pipe fell to my older brother, who assumes a posture identical to our father’s, back hunched, facing away from us all. As if he is slowly replacing the image of our father.

            We play the guessing game. We guess that he’s the one that gets away. 

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    Every time I saw you I melted grew and changed for the better.
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