They built a mall there now.

665 Reads   |   Published about 9 years ago

The one time my father and I went exploring and fishing, one weekend when a "business trip" I'd later learn was an affair with his clerk was cancelled last minute, I forgot that something was severely wrong for a day or so. I couldn't hear the sounds of my mother's shouting over the squelch of the mud, and I couldn't hear the symphonic discord that was my father's work-phone ringing because the signal was too faint where we were. Upper Montana is the sort of place where one's life changes. The sort of place a singer might go to write his best work, a painter his final masterpiece, a child his solace. He put his arm around me, as we walked through the shallows of a river and I grabbed the buckle of his jacket for support as I felt the current nudge me to deeper waters. I slipped, and thought for sure that I'd drown, but his strong grip held me by the neck and the arm as he pulled me, soaked and weepy, onto the bank. I couldn't breathe for a moment, but the choking feeling was life, and I thanked my dad for it a thousand times in my head. Seventeen hours later, his phone received enough reception to garner reason to cut the trip short, and he went off on the trip a few days late. I thought of my father as a wild ranger, and he checked into a Motel 8. There's a mall where I almost drowned now; where the man who split my family apart choked and saved me at the same time. I suppose there's irony in that, huh?

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