Dinner with Father

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Dinner with Father

I wonder what it would be like to go to dinner with my father. One of the chief words my uncle uses to describe my father is "classy," so I'm sure that he would take me to a fancy restaurant. We would sit across the table from each other, both decked out in dark suits. My hair would fall into my eyes and I would brush it out of the way, looking to see the expression on his face.

He was a large man, both in my memories and in photographs I've seen. I'm sure that he would dominate the conversation, both physically and mentally. His absence from my life has resulted in my sort of revering him, and so I think that the evening would be unevenly balanced toward my listening to him speak. And what better questions to ask than his opinions of me and my habits? It would be strange, seeking acceptance from someone who has had such a powerful effect on my life, influencing me more through his absence than through his presence.

My early years with my father have become harder and harder to recall. From what I can remember, and what I have gleaned from my brother and mother, I was on the verge of spending "quality time" with my father. My brother, who is four years older than I, spent the last few years with Dad talking and reading and walking, all things I yearn to have done with him. The dinner would be a chance for me to bond with my father, and to get a sense of the man he was. This is what my brother and my mother know, but cannot convey to me.

I would show him some of the poems I've written about him and me. I would question him to see whether or not the image of him I had forged in my mind, in my writing, is true. In my philosophy class this year, we are reading Plato's Republic, which my mother has told me was my father's favourite book. I am fortunate enough to have his copy of the Republic, a tattered, red-leather bound copy from long ago. I want to know what he gleaned from this book that made it so important to him. I would use the dinner (which I know would be too short) to fill in the gaps in my perception of my father.

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