The morning that I was scheduled to leave to go to the airport and fly back to Tucson during my December trip to Seattle, I found my dad sitting next to me in silence, staring off into space while I perused my phone. It took a bit for me to realize that he was just sitting there, and when I did – I felt really weird.
Let me explain: Growing up, my dad traditionally said very little, conversations were at a minimum, and when they did occur, it was primarily to tell me what I could and could not do, or tell me to get something from the next room.
Maybe this is que upon realizing that my dad was just sitting there, I didn’t know how to react. It wasn’t like the television was on, there was no radio playing in the background, there was nothing particular on the wall he was facing. Did he need something? Did he want me to interact or start a conversation with him? and if so, what was I supposed to converse with him about?
ugh, are you okay? I asked as I was trying to figure this whole awkwardness out.
Yea he said in his Filipino accent. I just want to sit.
Ooo-kay I thought to myself, my eyes reverting back to my phone. I was still aware of my dad just sitting there staring at nothing, and the awkward silence that surrounding us. I wondered what was going on in his head, and if this… whatever this was… was awkward for him as well.
My thoughts remembered my parents’ visit to the desert a few weeks prior, and how for the first time in my life- I realized the undeniable truth that my dad – with his white hair and wrinkled face, now looking at the white walls – was getting old as shit. It wasn’t the kind of old that was too old to be cool; it was the kind of old in which clear physical indicators left no doubt that the circle of life was more than 50% complete.
I ended up putting my phone down and sat there in silence with him – taking in the moment of being in the same room in the midst of the awkwardness.
Until the silence broke when his boater Filipino English started asking a series of random questions:
What did you eat last night? (Thai) What time is your flight (11) What happened to your friend who went to Canada (Which one? ) The one who’s dad used to pick you up (I don’t know) Do you miss Lynnwood High (no) What time is your flight? (We talked about this)
While at some other point in time, I might have been annoyed and either not answered him and/or completely snapped at him, this time – this time, I didn’t mind at all. This ‘conversation’ basically lasted til it was time for me to leave.