Happy Fathers’ Day

He woke up, and in the half-light reached out and patted carefully around the top of the table beside his bed searching for his cell phone. Finding it, he switched it on in hopeful anticipation. The screen lit up, the jingle played, the gauge showing the remaining battery life appeared; the name of the service provider and date and time and cell location appeared; but no notifications. He waited for a few moments. No messages. No missed calls.

He got up and walked through to his study where a desktop computer sat dormant on his desk. He switched the modem on and a row of tiny green lights began to twinkle. He switched the computer and the monitor on and waited for them to labor through their start-up sequence. Both were old, like him; slow, due for retirement. The hard drive was almost full. The memory could hardly cope with the volume of information it was being asked to absorb and process. Eventually, his desktop icons appeared on the screen but he knew that it was just a tease, a false expectation: the computer still wasn’t ready to do his bidding. But this particular morning was a special morning and he was impatient for what he expected the computer to deliver; so he decided to double-click the browser icon anyway, thinking: “In your own time.” And finally, after what seemed like a deliberately hostile and provocative procrastination, the home page appeared.

He checked his email: nothing but the usual junk. He checked his Facebook account. No messages. His heart sank. Without realizing it, his expression had dissolved into a gray emptiness. But he consoled himself with the thought that it was just a time zone issue. It was still yesterday in the place from which he’d expected to hear something. So he repeated the identical process the following morning. But the outcome was the same.

“Happy Fathers’ Day,” he whispered to himself ironically. «En fin de compte, il me semble que ça ne valait pas la peine».

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Happy Fathers’ Day

  1. Wonderfully-written short piece. It is what it is, entirely, and I am laughing because it’s so familiar. I remind myself of a Buddhist teaching: Disappointment comes from having expectations.

    • So happy to hear from you, Kendall. Just recently, I heard the Dalai Lama say what you said; but he went on to explain that expectations are also necessary. Tricky stuff that Buddhism 🙂

  2. I’ve always liked that linkin park tune. Many years back when our younger guy was playing club ball, it was the only cd we had for a three hour drive to and then three hours back from a tournament in Las Cruces. It accompanied us to many a tournament. Every cut of hybrid theory is taking up a large part of my internal computer memory!

    So I’ve googled father’s day in the land down under. By the time you read this it will probably have been two days ago! Ours was in July. Happy Father’s Day.

    And I hope that your story wasn’t totally reflecting reality.

    • Not totally reflecting reality, John. I don’t have a study.
      Actually, Sunday was a double-whammy for me because apart from being Fathers’ Day here, it was also the second anniversary of my mother’s passing. So on the day, I was neither recognised as a father nor a son; but my wife got me a very thoughtful gift that made up for it.

  3. Nice hearing from you again Keith!
    Meditative image and again, I enjoyed each and every word of your story, recognizable for most parents I suppose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s