Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Choice

My father never finished anything he started, my brother always said, worrying that, like our father, he would never finish anything either. It is a psychological scar he still bears from childhood.

For example, a second bathroom never got finished in the new house, just like a second bathroom never got finished in our old house. The toilet was functional, which saved considerable conflict in a family already sufficiently conflicted. But we could have used a second shower: now we were nine, including three teenagers and a grandmother, and this represented serious bathroom conflict.

I don't remember that my father didn't finish things. He had to sell that boat for the money. Life gave him a choice one day: he could have the house or he could have the boat. To help him make the choice, it took away his job. He almost lost the house, he almost lost his mind, and he did lose the boat. Then life left him alone for a while.

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