Times are a changing
The alarm clock signaled that it was time to get up. The clock in the kitchen said that it was time to catch the bus. Bells told you when class was over; buzzers in the hallways said that in two minutes you would be late for the next class. A siren marked the noon hour every day with one very long whine. At five the family sat for dinner. At ten-thirty or eleven we went to bed
In Sisyphus fashion you knew what to expect, day in and day out. Never a surprise. The mundane can be holy; but for the restless masses, especially the young, it can feel like a waiting out a death sentence. This year however began to dole out a litany of surprises one after the other.
My father was home for supper. My mother and father, my little sister and me. The phone rang and my mother answered.
"Yes. This is the T******** residence. Yes, he is right here. Hold on". She covered the phone with her hand and signaled to my father that it was him".
"Hello. This is Bill" as he stretched the phone cord around the corner and continued the conversation. You could hear my father speaking in muffled tomes and I thought that someone in his family must have died. After a few minutes he hung up the phone and signaled for my mother to join him in the other room.
They soon rejoined the dinner table looking as though they had both been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. It was strange. My mother signaled for my father to proceed.
"I was married before I met your mother," he said. "I divorced her right after I got out of the army. (I always thought it peculiar that he "got out of the army" never mentioning that he "got out" via being liberated from a German p.o.w. camp) "I got out and she had a kid. I knew that it wasn't mine. Couldn't be. I was gone too long". He gave a long pause looking to me and my sister for some sort of reaction before continuing. "He wants to come visit. He thinks that I might be his father. His mother always told him that I was. I told him that it was impossible but he wants to see me for himself".
"Uh, okay," my sister and me replied. We really didn't have much of a reaction and we continued eating.
"I am going to pick him up at the airport tomorrow," my father went on. "He's going to stay for two or three days".
"Neat," we said...
The next morning I got up as usual and got ready for school. "Was that your friend they found," asked my mother? "Mark ********. They found him frozen and stabbed near some horse farm.
"Yeah. That was him," I told her. We both said nothing.