Saturday, May 28, 2005

Me Da

They’re cremating my grandfather and my dad leans in to tell me something. For a moment, he isn’t my dad. He is my older brother whispering in that secretive, conspiratorial way brothers do when in front of other adults.

Dad: I should be feeling something, but I don’t. I thought some grief, or at least guilt, but nope. Nothing. Let’s never become like this.
Me: We won’t.

He smiles and holds my hand.

I’m the only one awake. My dad came home late last night and I went to bed in a foul mood. Then I see it: on top of my cupboard is a space shuttle.

It’s made by Corgi.
The die-cast metal body gives it a nice, expensive-feeling weight.
The cockpit windows are large, black and completely unrealistic.
It has a cargo bay where the metal doors swing open to reveal its payload – a shiny satellite of red and gold plastic.
Best of all, it has a switch.
I flip it forward and three landing gears swing down from under the shuttle and I laugh.

There’s a note.
You’ll fly. I just know it.

I’m the only one awake. I finish wrapping the last Christmas present – my dad’s.
It is a 10-inch official replica of a character from the Cartoon Network series Justice League.
His name is Superman.

On it, I’ve written a note.
Because you are mine.”

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