Saturday, June 17, 2017

EVERYWHERE by Peter Nolan Smith

My older brother and I went everywhere with our parents. We drove from Hingham to Maine, Watchic Pond to Boston, Falmouth Foresides to the South Shore. There were thousands of trips with my mother and father. Nowadays Frunk and I live far apart. We haven't been in a car together for over ten years, but we speak several times a month and this afternoon I phoned Frunk to wish him a Happy Father's Day.

"Happy? You know what I did this weekend?"

"I spoke with your son." Franka was moving from Philadelphia to Boston before hitting the road to LA. He wanted to be a TV writer.

"Friday night I drove down to Phillie. I loaded the U-Haul truck with Franka's things. We left at 5. I got home around midnight." Frunka's house was on a hill above the Neponset River. The old mansion was ten times larger than my apartment in Fort Greene.

"And you dropped off the truck in the morning?" I had called his son on Friday. I could have gone to help, instead last night I lay in bed listening to the Stanley Cup finals on WBZ. Their announcers painted better picture than the TV guys.

"No such luck. We unloaded most of his things on the Cape. I'm just entering the U-Haul parking lot to drop off the truck and then I'm going to the house here before driving to Boston in the morning, so ask me how my weekend was?"

Our father would have done the same thing for us. He liked to drive.

"The Bruins won by a goal in overtime." I deflected his slapshot question.

"I listened to it on the radio in the truck." More than likely on I95.

"Did you drive alone?" It was a silly question.

"My wife and son were in the Lexus." Frunka had settled a good case in April. The car was a birthday present to himself. He deserved it.

"At least you had peace and quiet." Marshall McLuhan had said that driving a car was one of the few times man was alone in the modern age.

"No, they called me every five minutes to ask where we were."

"Nice." I was really happy I hadn't helped him.

"How was your Father's Day?"

"I'm drinking a beer.

"Paradise."

"Hope you get there soon."

"Not a chance. I'm taking my son out to dinner, so all I'll get for Father's Day is another bill."

"It goes with the territory." Tomorrow I was sending money to Fenway in Thailand. His teeth are rotting fast and he's only five years-old. I love my son.

"I can't wait for a client to ask how was my weekend."

"I bet you can't." Telling him that I was about to take a hot bath was too cruel and drink another beer while listening to acid rock from the 60s was too cruel, but Franka was with his son Frunka. I wished him a good night and hung up.

I was alone in Fort Greene.

Fenway was on the other side of the world.

My everywheres have shrunk to one place and I'll get to that everywhere one day.

Sooner hopefully more than later for this father, because with Fenway every day is Father's Day.

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