(Natasha Visits Toronto, 2011)
A tall tower used to reign just ahead. You see where those smaller glass towers rise, yeah, right there, that's where it used to be. All brick, with some salty looking writing circa 1940's. It never meant much to me then, when I was growing up, looking at it, wondering who worked in there. It wasn't until I moved back to this city and lived here for a few years when I realized something was missing. I couldn't place it, and for years there was a vague feeling of a phantom upon us.
One day looking through my father's old watercolor paintings I found a painting of that tower, in perfect detail, in the light I remember it in, and amongst the rendition were my own; the scribbling of a child art-destroyer. Somewhere in that reminiscing I pondered the thought perhaps I had never seen this tower as a child, nor did it exist. It just could have been made up from my father's imagination, made to look ordinary so as not to been seen as a fake. Perhaps he put some real studies within the folder I found all the paintings in to throw me off. I wondered if I had misplaced that memory of that painting with reality, both happened in my childhood. But why would I mistaken this painting over the many films, t.v. shows, and photographs I had also seen for reality? I sat at the toilet for a long time, I was dry by then, and the sky was getting dark. I suddenly thought of the memory of my father, how I always thought it was odd he was my father, I spent a whole life time knowing he was, and he treated me like a son, he was a good father, but for some reason there was this odd feeling lingering in the air. Perhaps it is that I know very little about him, that he is often quiet about his life, he talks, but about what's going on in the news (Mr. CNN we called him, he now watches FOX, we don't call him Mr. FOX). I see him every other year, he looks older and older, and that fact always depresses me. I remember my father walking on his hands, doing loops around us as we crawled. Funny how I remember that, nowadays he has knee problems, he's getting up there, and the once strong man my father was is now dwindling. There's a picture of us together, both with our shirts off, hanging out at the beach, it was the first time I was more muscular than him, the legend that my father is coming to terms with reality.
I've never told my father I love him, I think its those words that I feel, and I want to say, and every time I'm leaving to go back to the city I live in, at the airport I look at him, I hug him, and the air in my lungs that I use to form words is gone. It is the same feeling of telling a woman you love her for the first time, that is probably the hardest three word combo in the english dictionary. A man I once met in Moloka'i told me love is life, that you should be able to tell someone you love them without any hesitation, it should be natural. He told me says I Love You in his goodbyes to his friends, he said that you never know when that will be the last time you see each other and that you want them, you need them, to know that you love them. It is very important. And perhaps one day I'll get my head outta my ass and be more vocal about my love, but I'm stubborn and I save that word for the most important moments, when it really hits hard. I didn't grow up in a beautiful place like Moloka'i, and parts of my childhood were pretty rough, without bragging, and who I am is who I am, from all the bits and pieces that been embedded into this rolling stone gathering twigs, small animals, and no moss. I am my failures, I am regrets, but most of all I am my success and evolution. All I want to hear is, oh what's that sound, holler, a pearl, the ocean swelling, the sky is falling, the kids going crazy, the city is burning, what, are, we, going, to, do, do-do-do, AY PAPI.