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The Second

June 18, 2007

I feel the urge to write about his Father’s Day, as last years so was close to the death and I was still so raw and unhealed from my Dad’s death. It is my hope that this one is a sign, of what each coming Father’s Day will feel like, be like, how I’ll experience them.
I woke up early, to fit in our Sunday morning bagel ritual. We walked down an eerily quiet Park Ave. towards 86th and made our way East from there. The sidewalks were wet with dew and hose water, doormen were still just peering out from their buildings. I felt awake, happy to be out, anxious about time. I had a 10:00 appointment I didn’t want to be late for. I’d made the spa appointment anxiously earlier in the week. I’d said for weeks that I would be doing a spa day on Sunday, since I’ve heard and read that when you don’t have the parent to celebrate you should do something for yourself. Now, I had to actually live up to it.
I had looked up the spa online and found the prices expensive but reasonable, mostly because a sibling of the owner worked at my company and I’d get a discount. I almost didn’t do it, I almost convinced myself that just getting a manicure and pedicure would be enough. Then, I just picked up the phone and booked it. I felt good after, excited.
I had an anxious stomach all morning, i.e. the runs, and I associated it with going to a place I’d never been, having an experience I’d never had. As I walked to the train, alone this time on the quiet UES streets, I realized why. A sadness came over me, I was doing this because my Dad was gone. I didn’t have him to celebrate today, or maybe I didn’t have him to celebrate with, because I certainly celebrate who he was. It was really the only time sadness would overcome me.
I got to the appointment right on time. I was taken back, to a low lit hallway with small rooms to the right and left, treatment rooms, locker rooms, a nook with comfortable pillowed couches and lime infused pitchers of water.
I lay on the facialists table and let her massage countless products into my skin, and then skillfully remove them with warm towels, the feel of her hands on my face amazed me, relaxed me. I felt my body melt into the table with the first treatment. “Oh,” I thought, “this is going to be nice.” And it was. I felt completely relaxed and refreshed after and floated through the manicure and pedicure. I dove into my book and before I knew it, my time was up and I was thrust back into the hot June Sunday. But, it was okay, I continued to float through the rest of my day. Shopping, Sushi, quick train rides home, an afternoon in my white linened, walled and softly sun lit room. I finished my book, had my favorite snack and cuddled in bed. I let a call from a friend go to voicemail and when I listened later she said, “I hope you’re doing okay today, I just want to let you know I’m thinking about you today.” “Oh,” I thought again, “that’s right, it’s Father’s Day.” My mom called later and asked, “How sad were you today?” And that’s when I realized, only this morning, on the walk to the train.

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