It is hard being here today, in his house on the eve of the two month mark of his passing – and it’s Father’s Day. Busying myself during the day was easy, there is much to be done before the suite can be rented, and B was here to help. But he’s returned to Vancouver for work, the sun has set and it is now just me and my thoughts in this house on this day.
I pour a glass of beer, grab my chai tea vape and start walking. East, no reason for the direction other than I’m less familiar with the street. The air is mild, the sky shifting towards dark but still holds the memory of a setting sun. In the valley below, a train’s lingering whistle blows as I walk. It’s a sound that annoys some, for me it is reassuring – things still move, industry still runs and the train is sharing its winding journey with us.
Two blocks down I turn south, down the mountain side, admiring the lights from Abbotsford, across the river and farmlands. Orange twinkling points, homes with families watching TV, fathers and mother’s enjoying the quiet house of sleeping children. I don’t go far. There is a comfortable spot where the road levels out just long enough to feel like a resting place. After a few moments of stillness and deep breaths I begin my return, taking the road below – one I’ve never been down. The houses are smaller, lots closer together and packed with cars, several have boats and camper vans. The street is wide but has no sidewalk, I claim the center, gazing from side to side, taking in the neighbourhood.
My circuit will compleat with a short hike up the steep hill, at the top and to the right I will find his his cul-de-sac. The night is so still I can can hear a diesel truck coming up the mountain, yet can tell it is at least three maybe even five blocks away. My pace is slow in this last little block, the pitch slowing me as I notice the glass in my left hand is empty. As I summit a Toyota 4×4 thunders past.
Standing before his house I pause. Yes, it will be a rough night, being here in his house, on Father’s Day, on my own, but that’s okay. These tears too will pass. The sun will rise in the east and tomorrow I will paint his kitchen bright blue.