Fortress of Solitude

It’s Wednesday here at work. Probably where you are, too. Hump Day, as some say. Which means different things to different people. Some think of it as getting closer to the weekend. And to them that’s a good thing. Me? I’m thinking of the UPS lady who is picking up some packages right now. I’ve seen her every work day for the past three years. She replaced Kevin, who, according to several legends, either went berserk in the office or won the lottery. Either way, I envy him. Anyway, Donna the UPS lady is friendly, fairly good looking, though nothing spectacular (not that I’m one to talk) and I’m fairly certain has a major crush on me. There is absolutely nothing that leads me to this conclusion. It’s just one of a thousand daily fantasies. Just thought I’d share.

What I really want to talk about is how Sundays have changed since I was a kid. In other words, my father’s Sundays compared to my own. When I was a kid I barely saw my father during the week. He worked late hours. Hard working guy. He’d even work a lot of Saturdays. And by the way, this was the norm, so I never felt alone or deprived or even gave it much thought. Until now of course. Anyway, Sunday was his one day of leisure and to be with us. I enjoyed these moments. We’d all sit down for Sunday brunch (we’d call it brunch though it was just breakfast). Even my surly brother would join us. A rare and unpleasant occurrence. My mother would make the one egg dish she was capable of making: the egg in the middle of a piece of bread with the hole torn out. And we’d top that off with an apple ring cake. Never varied. And I never wanted it to.

Not a lot of conversation, but it was nice. Then my Dad would smile at us, grab the HUGE Sunday newspaper and head off to the bathroom. And he wouldn’t surface again until dinner. Seriously. He’d stay in there all day. And no one was allowed to knock on the door or bother him in any way. It wasn’t so bad except that was our only bathroom, not counting the toilet downstairs next to the hot weater heater where you had to lean to the right to do anything!

He’d be in there all day, reading the paper cover to cover, and then he’d emerge looking like a happy, satisfied man. For years I thought he had a bum stomach, but finally realized he just needed his sanctuary from us after spending all of an hour together as a family for the week. Nice gig if you can get it. I can’t. I tried. There’s no such thing as privacy or sanctuary or escape or apple ring cake in my house on Sundays. There’s just getting through it and hoping that maybe somehow Monday will arrive and I can go to work and imagine my rebuffing of Donna (in my fantasy she begs, but I tell her I’m married, and she fights tears and leaves. Guilt prevents me from having better endings) or I finish building my time machine and go back to my father’s day where no one hassled him on a Sunday. Talk about fantasizing. Thank god for Mondays!


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One Response to Fortress of Solitude

  1. Mr Weekend says:

    Your father sounds like a great man.
    I’m sure he loved going to see all your little league games.
    And schlepping your from birthday party to birthday party when you were growing up.
    Cherish the memories.

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