TUESDAY, April 20 – So tired, dead-tired. This is all I was planning to write today. Things turned out differently.
I was in the Mini on the way to an appointment in the city… good-looking women on bicycles sped by. It was a lovely sight and in the back of my mind I saw Jenn on her bike going over the bridges, saw how people looked at her in her denim mini-skirt and purple leggings, her black leather jacket and pale blue scarf. And the black-brown locks with those incredible curls.
Then I began to cry – and I’m still crying as I write it all down.
Why was all that taken away from her? It’s that question – to which there is no answer – that makes me so sad. Sad for her. Not so much for myself. She’s dead and I’m not. I’m alive.
I couldn’t shake off that feeling and during the business lunch I felt my mind drifting. Two colleagues were trying to provoke each other. I was the chair and I should have intervened, taken over, and gotten the meeting back on the rails. But I couldn’t care less. At that instant I was painfully conscious of the futility of it all. What the fuck am I doing here? I excused myself, walked out of the room, put on my coat, got into the car and went home.
Home to my children. Love, that’s what I needed right then and that’s what I told Eamonn later in the car, on the way to baseball practice. That’s why I was waiting for him in the schoolyard at 3:30 which was a surprise, since he had expected his brother to pick him up. ‘You know why I enjoy picking you up, Eamonn?’
No, he didn’t know.
‘Love is that fleeting second when our eyes meet. When I see the little rush of surprise. Hey, it’s Papa! You’re standing there. The quick smile of recognition, of affection, of closeness. This afternoon, Eamonn, I needed that moment.’
Oh, okay. And he accepted my words for what they were worth. We were both still for a moment. ‘Or do you think I’m a jerk, Eamonn?’ He laughed out loud. ‘That sounded funny, Papa.’