The Math Ex.am
The train slowly built moment.um. Heat wrapped around me like a second s.kin. I f.eared the look on his face, the same look he gave me when I was four or so and tried to se.cure a drumstick on my plate with a fork and knife. Instead, it flew a.cross the t.able.cloth, sauce and all.
He broke the silence first, “You shouldn't have given up.”
“I didn't give up, I did not want to do it. T.here's a difference,” I said, looking out, and a.way from the uninvited stares of the people sitting across from us.
The ho.us.es were now speeding past. Soon we'll be th.reading through fields and fields of sun.flow.ers and lavender.
“You realize the ef.fort it cost you, us. You may have missed your chance in l.if.e, you k.now,” my dad continues with a crack in his vo.ice.
“I don't f.eel I am missing anything,” I said, ad.miring a tree growing out of sheer rock on the side of a h.ill.
My eyes d.rift from the dirty window to our intent audience: their eyes dim, the lines on their faces deep. Like acro.bats my thoughts somersault through my mind, contemplating: How would I k.now if I have missed my great chance in life, and is it a great chance if I have missed it?
“Everyone is searching for their great chance. Did you get yours, dad?”
“Well, yes, of c.our.se, I ... have a f.am.ily, ...a job, ...I th.ink ...I'm happy.”
I don't want to think I am happy. My mind drifts back to the ancient amphitheater ruins above the city of Plov.div, where we watched a performance, where with each dawn the rose light reveals the city as an endless backstage. Where I made a wish to go back.
I squirm in my seat with the sudden real.ization:
My dad and I have been rid.ing this loco.motive, sitting in these same seats, for seventeen years now.
Note: div in Bulgarian means wild.
words: Daniela Elza, Canada (Strange Places)
image: 'tracks' - Karyn Eisler, Canada (Living ?s)
another blueprint of 2 generations: Fail (#20)