This is the room where my father worked. That's the desk he sat at. This is his chair.
My mother never came into this room. She hated the dark paneled walls, the cluttered bookshelves, and the smell of his pipe. This room was the one part of my father's life she couldn't control.
My father would let me sit here, by the globe, and play while he wrote. These are my blocks, still in the box I kept them in. Old Tom Burton made them for me. The paint's mostly worn off of them. I would stack them, building towers and bridges, forts and castles, while I watched my father.
He would write for hours and hours. I use to think he knew everything. I still think he was the most learned man I have ever known. He was famous, I mean for his work, not just for being the son of Blair Walker Benedict.
My father was a storyteller. To him the myths and legends of all the world's cultures, past and present, were living things. They breathed for him, and they breathed through him. My father wasn't a dry dissector of dusty tales pulled from ancient tomes. He was in love with them, the tales, and he lost no opportunity to present them to new audiences.
He was a scholar's scholar. Men and women from around the world, hailing from great universities and obscure villages so small they were barely more than a crossroad, would write to him in search of arcane knowledge. He never turned aside any of these requests, and to the best of my knowledge he never answered with a wrong reply.
My mother doesn't believe in story tales. She believes in the bottom line. Her father taught her that. He was a politician, thrice elected governor of the fair state of Georgia. He was tough, uncompromising and intelligent. He was also vengeful, mean spirited and a womanizer. My mother loves him unconditionally.
Love, what a strange word. What a strange concept. What is it really? The desire, the longing, the immersion into another's being? Or is it simpler, a quiet little thing made of shared experience, the same blue skies, the same rainy days? I loved my father and I love my mother. Why is it that I can't stand to be around my mother much at all, yet I still miss the presence of my father and would do anything to see him again? I loved my father's father, but I still can't stomach the company of my maternal grandfather.
It's all so confusing at times... and now I have Melanie to try and fit into the picture. She's upstairs sleeping in her room. It must be after two in the morning by now. I couldn't sleep again. I kept thinking of my father and what I wanted to be for him. Would he approve of what I've done with my life? Would he be disappointed in me, like my mother? I'd like to think that he wouldn't be ashamed of me, that he would respect the choices I've made in life. It's only guesswork though, he's been dead for so long, over twenty years now. Long enough for him to cease being a subject of anecdotes at parties and gatherings. Long enough for him to apparently be forgotten by all, but those he touched.
I've been using his typewriter lately, copying some of the things I've written down in my notebooks. They seem different once they become unscrambled from my tangled handwriting. More ordered, more precise now. They're on their way now, up the evolutionary ladder from ideas to published works, or at least i hope they get that far.
I'm going back to bed now, maybe I'll actually get some sleep. All the excitement from the dance earlier is what probably kept me up this time.
Am I falling in love with her?