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October 3, 2017

back to the day he left; you bet i was pissed.
though i never called him dad--always Otto,
pronounced Uh-tuh, the way i said it when
he first showed up when i was a wee tyke--
i still liked him and we had mostly good
and i'm sure i got a lot of my affinity
for history and technology from him. i was
bitter for years about his leaving, but we
reconciled in 1990 when i was visiting san
francisco at the tail end of a three-month
cross-country hitch-hiking tr-ip. even at 84 he
was still charging up those hills and i showed
off my worldliness by eating calamari for the
first time. a few years later i had one of the two
paranormal experiences of my life. the doorbell
rang and without hesitation i knew what it was:
otto had died and UPS was delivering the 35mm
camera he willed to me. i didn't know he was sick,
didn't know i was in his will, but when i opened
the box it was no surprise. here's to luck,
intuition, and letting in
voices from the past.
i can almost hear
him typing in
the basement
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