When I was about four years old, my dad painted the den in our house. The den had several shelves, and he was staining them from bottom to top with a dark wood stain. One day, when I was watching him paint, we decided to play a game, he picked me up and lay me down on one of the high shelves. While I waited, I looked at the unpainted shelves above me. The lines in the wood were like the lines in my hand. I was stuck on my back, so all I could do was stare straight up. I couldn’t look to the side without risking a roll off the shelf.
“I need your help. I can’t find Jessica,” I heard my dad yell to my mom. I knew, somewhere in my head, that he might be teasing. But I froze and tried not to let them hear me breathe, just in case I actually could hide. It’s hard to hide when you don’t have fully functional legs or arms. I heard my mom’s footsteps, and as they got louder and she entered the room, she said, “The last time I saw her she was in here.”
My mom knew where I was. A minute ago I was sitting on the floor and she knew I couldn’t walk or even crawl to get somewhere even if I wanted to. Plus I think they could see me. I don’t remember exactly because I was stuck looking up. But my mom played along. She might have shrugged.
“I can’t find her—where could she be?” my dad asked.
They waited awhile before they found me. My mom and my dad. They let me think I could hide.
When I look back to that day, it makes my stomach lurch like strawberries in a blender. I want to vomit.
It has been twenty years now and my dad still can’t find me. He doesn't look for me and he’s not playing this time.
As of late, I am not looking for him either. His excuses of inability exhaust me and I refuse his confinement. I imagine he is contemplating up more excuses in his mind...... desperately blaming his inability on the mailman, the little old lady that honked at him, the moon, the stars, by now, like Milli Vanilli, he is probably blaming it on the rain...
Who knows... maybe a dog ate his homework.