Not a Father’s Son

Delbert H. Rhodes

His mind sinking his body hurting the stars stare down at him, his vision dimming. The pounding of his heart seems louder than the sounds of his breathing. As a boy, he often visited this beach, and now this would be his last. Out there, the waves swell, as stars swim back and forth in the water.

The dune upon which he lies was his favorite as a child. Snake tracks ever graced its sands and fluffy turf, but the creature was never about. The dune pushed him higher while the sky leaned closer, the clouds brushing his face. The boy loved thinking, the daydreamer he walked inside his thoughts, and the adult, the curious storyteller. No matter its  influences, thinking is passionate, private. Now privacy and thinking have little to offer him, as he openly lives his final moments. Odd: that a man could blindly perish in plain sight. Years ago, his great-great grandmother met with death here.

This man has experienced many things, yet one thing would never be his. You see, at the age of fourteen the boy asked of his father, everything a curiosity. “He stopped coming to see you when you were four years old,” his mother’s eyes looking at yesterday. His aging ears replayed her voice, and now the words swim with his mind. “Strange,” he quietly says, “to live and die without a father’s love. ‘I am not a father’s son.’”

 A chilly night, and the trees hush the winds, crickets blow whistles, as ancestral arms embrace the lost man. Like a loving mother, the night keeps vigil, she watches him. Slowly, the feelings in his legs lessen, and coldness blankets him. “Del, bring me a wash cloth.” He remembers how seeing his naked mother always embarrassed him. Strange how the mind works, the taste of Bazooka Bubble gum slides around his tongue, a smile seduces his cheeks.

His breathing suffers; he feels trapped. He has no children, he has only death; the connective links of mind and body deteriorating, somehow, the man reaches into his pocket. The carcass of an old reptile lies near him, its body cold and his body cooling. Death is romantically ironic, unwittingly; the viper and the man finally meet. Darkness closes his eyes, and soon, a paper flies away from his hand. During an early morning run, a man finds the body and within a few yards, a paper in the sands:

Father’s Day

 Where is my dad
Oh hear me say
Who do I call
On Father’s Day 

To the skies I look
(And) God sits there
To Him I cry
To me a stare 

Oh, daddy, daddy
Where are you
In a world of colors
My color is blue 

On that last day,
I close my eyes
Fatherless I have lived
My father dies

Copyright © 2007-2014 Delbert H. Rhodes
 
 

A Man’s Cunning, A Woman’s Plan

Wedding

By Delbert H. Rhodes

She walks in his direction, as he sanitizes his hands. Looking at her, he recalls earlier years when he first saw her; she remains as stunningly beautiful as she ever was. Framing her face, coal-black hair with curls reach down to brush her shoulders, alabaster skin boasting sunshine illuminates and eyes of black satin captivate him. Usually, he prefers the skin of darkly creamed to medium tones, however, subjectively, white is the color for her. While training, she works hard as she expertly engineers her routines and her bodylines, long, sleek, athletic, but sweetly feminine, speak to the benefits, the beauties of physical fitness.

This lady is the picture of perfect, both in the commercial sense and the personal and more private sense. Physically, she meets the spec sheet for goddess and wife, he has no idea how her mind works, and regarding his choices of women thinking is critical; after all, if she poorly reasons then conversations are little more than gossip. No thanks to that type. That he could feel such passions for her is romantic, for neither of them has ever spoken to the other.

Knowing he is here yet without eye contact, she almost brushes him as she passes by. Selecting a bottle of cleanser, slowly, she rounds to the opposite side of the cleaning station. Innocuously rotating her palms to wipe them, she exposes her right hand ring finger; diamonds dazzle his eyes. Is she married or is she playing? Nonetheless, if she intends it he would soon know. Remaining within arm’s reach she delicately diverts her eyes from him. From behind a complementary stare, quietly, he speaks, “You should never do that it is risky.”

Even the Jetson’s Rosie could not have appeared as busy while cleaning. Without glancing at him, she finally replies, “Never do ‘what?’” “Blindly stroll into the wanton passions of a man.” As she returns to her workout station, slightly, a smile resonating ‘okay, you made it to bat’ encourages him. With pinpoint accuracy, her paper towel finds the narrow mouth of the garbage can.

Watching her walk away, he realizes that she directed the entire scenario; it actually happened as she had scripted it, everything neatly conceived from approach to departure. In some ways, a man’s cunning derives from a woman’s plan; there are no better strategists of male, female behaviors than women…smiling, already he feels her arms about him, but his pursuit must be proper, and encouraging, but never arrogantly rude… she approaches, his eyes widen, “Beautiful, simply beautiful.”

Copyright © 2014 Delbert H. Rhodes