Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Our kiss....

explore my lips with yours.

make my every breath your own.

linger long, and longer still.

encircle me with you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

My Father's Eyes.....

Robert Franklin Climes was only 69 years old when he died in December 1990.
Much too young. His eyes were a clear, light blue that crinkled at the corners and reflected his smile. I remember seeing those blue eyes cry only three times.

The first time I saw him shed tears was at his mother's funeral. He was wearing a dark gray suit. I was twelve years old. I watched him walk up to her open casket after the service at the funeral home. He stood with his hands folded, looking down at her thin, frail form for what seemed like a long time. I saw him lean slowly towards her and kiss her cold lips lightly. When he straightened up and turned to walk away, I saw the tears running down his face. I remember the shocking realization that he was saying good-bye to his mother, which was much worse somehow, than my losing my grandmother. We drove to the cemetary for the graveside service, and since it was November in Ohio, stood in the cold, wind and snow as her casket was lowered into her grave.

The second time I saw my father cry was a few years later. We had an old sable and white collie named Clipper. Dad built a dog house, on stilts, with a ramp that led to the opening. It was winter again and the snow had drifted to the bottom of Clipper's house. The snowbanks were packed solid around the dog house because
old Clipper would lay on top of them in the sun. All of us in the family would try to convince Dad to bring the dog in from the cold during many winter nights. On the rare occasion that he agreed, he would only allow poor Clipper to stay in for a few minutes before he would tell us that he had to go back out. His reasoning was that the dog would get used to being inside and make him less tolerant of the cold. We never agreed, but Dad always won.

One day that winter, I was looking out the kitchen door, watching Clipper lying on top of a snow bank, when I noticed a red stain on the snow under him. I called to Dad, saying that I thought Clipper was bleeding. Dad came to the door and said, "Yes, he has a tumor and is probably trying to relieve the pressure." I became furious and demanded to know why Dad didn't take him to the vet. I ranted for several minutes about how the dog was suffering and it wasn't right to just let him go on like that. Dad never said a word. He got his coat and hat from the closet. Then I saw him get his shotgun. He walked out the door, unhooked Clipper's chain from the dog house and began to lead him through the back yard, across the field behind the house and into the woods at the back of our farm. I silently watched them disappear in the trees. Then I heard the loud BOOM. Several minutes later, I saw Dad walking slowly, head bent, alone. When he opened the back door, I saw the tears on his face. He still didn't say a word, but put the gun away and took off his coat and hat. I was speechless. I felt responsible. We never talked about that day or the dog again.

The third and last time I saw my father cry I was eighteen years old. I was going to college. Dad wanted me to commute to classes at the university. It was only twenty-five miles from home, and he was still working as a machinist for Goodyear, in Akron, the same city in which the college was located. He said I could arrange my classes so that I could ride in with him every morning and he would pick me up at the end of the day to bring me home. I balked. I wanted to live in one of the dorms. I wanted to experience all of college, not just, as it seemed to me, bits and pieces.

I used every piece of logic and practicality I could come up with to win my case...
my classes wouldn't always jive with his work schedule......what if I needed to use the library......how would I ever make any friends......and on and on. He told me that his main concern was that I was still naive and gullible. I trusted people too much. I would let people influence me. I was appalled. I'd been told my entire life how "mature" I was for my age, and now I was hearing my father say I was naive.
I actually had the gumption to threaten not to go to school at all if I couldn't live in the dorm. Dad said he wanted me to go to college so I wouldn't spend my life working in a factory, like he did. I stubbornly refused any compromise. To my surprise, he relented.

The day came when I was to leave home for Freshman Orientation. It was a family affair. The station wagon was loaded with my suitcases, both of my brothers, both of my sisters, Mom, Dad and me. After a quiet half hour drive, we arrived at Spanton Hall and began unloading the car. We found my room on the fourth floor and met my roommate. We began saying happy good-byes......after all, I would probably go home most weekends, and Mom had already told me I would be picked up for church even on the weekends I didn't make it home.

My roommate had politely left the room when my family started leaving. They all headed towards the elevator in the hall, but I didn't see Dad with them. I turned and saw my dad behind me, still in my new room, looking around. Then he turned and looked at me and I saw his chin quivering slightly and his eyes filling with tears. He gave me a long, crushing hug. A kiss on the cheek. No words. He walked out of my room and got on the elevator.

That first night in the dorm, I missed them all. Only twenty-five miles away. And I missed my dad the most that night. I never did tell him he was right. I was naive. And I never forgot his tears.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Common Thread.....

You don't have to
know me
to read my mind.

You don't have to
be here
to feel the same.

Here or there.
You or I.
Our common thread
weaves all as one.


Tell me something.
I don't want to.

Answer me.
You can't make me.

You're being stubborn.
Just being me.

You're wasting time.
It's my time.

I'm leaving.
You were never here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Late For Work....

Thursday 7:30 a.m.
"Did she call in?"
"Not yet."

9:00 a.m.
"Has anyone heard from her?"
"No one said anything so far."

11:30 a.m.
"Someone should call her."
"I don't know her number."
"She might be in the book."

12:30 p.m.
"No answer, but I left a message."
"Has she been depressed again?"
"I thought she was doing really well."

3:00 p.m.
"Does she even think about how much we worry?!"
"Wonder if she's even home?"

Friday 7:00 a.m.
"Wonder if we'll see her today?"
"She can't have much vacation time left!"

8:00 a.m.
"I'm gonna call her house again."

8:05 a.m.
"Damn. No answer. I left another message."
"Does anyone know her cell phone number?"

11:30 a.m.
"Boss said he left two messages."
"She's gonna get fired this time."
"Does anyone know where she lives?"
"Even if she's home, her dog wouldn't let anyone in."

1:00 p.m.
"This is ridiculous! Where could she be?"



Monday 7:00 a.m.
"She never works Saturdays."
"Wonder if she's coming in today?"

12:00 Noon
"Local News reports a woman was found......"

Note from author: Fear not dear friends. This is fiction.
It is not an indication of my current state of mind.