Saturday, September 17, 2011

Greetings from the other side

"Respect the delicate ecology of your delusions," the appropriately named Mr. Lies tells Harper in Tony Kushner's masterpiece, Angels In America. Mr. Lies is a hallucination that Harper has while she's roaming the Antarctica of her imagination.

We all have our private little delusions, irrational half-beliefs we keep hidden for fear people will think we are nuts. For instance: even though my father has been dead going on eleven years, I sometimes believe he is secretly alive. I envision him living in some Mexican border town; somewhere distant and desert-like, not far from the Pacific. I see him quite clearly, sitting outside a thatched hut, wearing his Ultimate Adventure hat and his ridiculous oversized sunglasses, typing away on his old Remington at a rickety card table.

That's just the sort of thing my father would have done. If I can't totally embrace my delusion, I've come to respect its ecology (arid, hot, windy). That's why, when I check the mail each year around the time of my birthday, I have to admit that I'm still hoping -- nay, expecting! -- to find a postcard written in my father's familiar crabbed handwriting, postmarked the Other Side.

1 comment:

smartz said...

As always, love your writing. Loss of parent seems to stay with us forever.