"Did I tell you I'm seeing a shrink?" My father inquired.
This, of course, was peculiar way to start a conversation. For one, he seemed kind of thrilled about it. For two, I never imagined my father seeking the services of an alienist, being much more of the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps school of thought. My attention had certainly been gotten.
"No," my daughter said, exchanging a curious and confused glance with me.
"Well, I am," my father said with a smile. "We had dinner the other night, and we're going to the opera soon."
Well, isn't that just fucking perfect?...My first reaction. The thought/realization/being told my father is seeing someone. Shock and a little disgust. A sense of fear and loathing that would make Poe or Lovecraft cross their legs and blush.
Rationally, I know it's been a little over a year since my mother's death. My father is still quite alive. Anyone else in that position I'd be thrilled for, telling them it's about time. One should not go hide in hole, stop living, pining for a love who is long gone.
Rationally, I know my initial reaction comes from being a child seeing one of my parents starting to get involved with someone other than the other parent. Most likely, my shock is textbook. Cliche, and that thought in and of itself is a little annoying, seeing as I try to avoid cliches like malaria mosquitoes.
My brother, apparently, is doing landscape work for this alienist, and therefore asked my father not to fuck it up until he's finished and paid. I never caught my sister's reaction or opinion. At one point, I decided to ask my father something he asked me a few times when it came to women over the years and lifetimes;
"So, when are you going to bring this little girl around?" Because, yes, I am curious enough to find out a little more about this splittail. Of course, the only time I'd bring girls around my family, because it's my family, would be if I wanted to get rid of them or was considering marrying them, but that's another story. My father smiled slyly, but didn't provide me an answer. Here and now, it's just causal.
It was a little over a year ago, my father and I were talking by phone. Admittedly, we had both been drinking for one reason or another. At one point, he mentioned going out on a date with a woman, but not to worry. No one could ever replace my mother. She was the true love of his life.
"Remember, he's not trying to replace your mom," Sabina said to me later on, a reminder of that past conversation.
"That's good thing," I said taking a large gulp of wine. "I'd eat her fucking liver if she tried."