He sat across from me at the table. “It was so hard…for five years, it was so hard…it was hard to watch him.” I can hear it, just then. That struggle caught in his throat, hard and choking, directly behind his Adam’s apple. He doesn’t want to cry, and yet it creeps and leaks just the same. I’m instantly a young child again, staring at this adult, this man, the corners of his crows feet threatening to fan out what is welling in a salty glitter at the corner of his right eye, the only eye I can see because his head is turned away from me and he’s looking at the floor. No, he’s looking at his father. No, he’s looking at himself, and he just can’t-look-at-me. I’m a kid again, watching my dad feel something, and it’s weird, and it’s beautiful, and it’s so incredibly sad. But he doesn’t cry, so I don’t cry. I am my father’s daughter, and I will not cry because I know he will if I do, and I know he doesn’t want me to see that. And then I know that I’m not a kid any more. And then I know that my dad feels just like a kid looking at an adult who is about to cry. And then I know.
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