For the longest time my dad has been asking to see some of my work. This is ever since I was in elementary school writing silly stories that were basically a copy of whatever fantasy novel I'd consumed that week. And for the longest time I've said "absolutely not". I don't like people in general reading my creative nonsense, let alone people I know and am close with. That's pretty obvious what with the whole using a fake name on this blog thing. It's how I convince myself to let people into my conscious, even those who know who I really am. Ellie Burns is my safety blanket.
But this is Father's Day, and I've met a lot of people in the last few years who don't have a dad like mine; someone who is deeply caring, accepting, and generous. My dad will always do the right thing. He once felt guilty for not moving a rock on the highway because it might have caused an accident. He also apologized for not being able to drive 8 hours and see one of my away games in high school. You read that right. 16 total hours of driving and he's apologizing for not being able to make it this time. Because he's done it before and would eventually do it twice more in my high school sports career. He was there for every home game, every choir concert, every academic olympic meet, and is now trying to figure out a way to fly somewhere and see me play rugby when the season starts up again. He and my ma are the most supportive people in my life and it's only been recently that I see how rare that is in a lot of families. I literally don't understand dysfunctional families because I've always had a good one. I just can't comprehend any other reality.
So today he's getting his wish. I'm giving him a poem I wrote about travelling. But because I'm also the devil I'm gonna give it to ya'll first. Do enjoy.
I haven't washed my hair in ten days.
I can feel the extra weight
of dead skin clinging to my scalp
like a layer of wax
akin to the plaque on my teeth,
unbrushed since yesterday morning.
This makeup is a day old
and not enough to hide the new lines
under my eyes.
My socks no longer feel like fabric,
but a coarse carpet of dirt and string
in need of a hammer and chisel.
My nose doesn't register smells as it should,
despite all the glory coming
from my armpits.
Speaking of which,
I have discovered the hair
hiding in the pair of smelly spots
on each side of my chest is in fact,
This morning I shat in a hole
and peed on my boots
for good measure.
I'm incredibly hungry;
surprisingly the half burger from last night
was not enough to hold me over.
I have two bottles of the good stuff
I'm afraid to open
in case the smell alone gets me drunk.
Three hours of sleep
makes a lightweight of us all.
So with my baggy clothes
and smelly breath,
with my dark circles
and limp hair
I wander off to the next adventure,
laughing at the glorious ways
travel has deigned to change me.
To all the fathers, single mom's, and father figures out there I hope you know how appreciated your hard work is, even when we're spoiled brats and don't let you read our stories for 21 years.