I’ve spent the last several days stuck in my apartment. This horrible blizzard has cut me off from the rest of the world, it seems.
My apartment is behind a house in a residential area in the middle of Tulsa. Typically, I park on the street, take a sidewalk around the back of a small house, go through a chain-link gate, and enter a doorway into a concrete breezeway that separates my apartment from the front house. It’s about 500 sq ft, one main room separated by a half-wall with a small kitchen, bathroom, and closet. Not bad, eh? Except I had to carve a path through the 14″ of snow we were blessed with just to get to the front of the house. My front neighbor was gracious enough to allow me the use of her car port on Monday night as this awfulness started. I haven’t been anywhere since. I tried to get out today, but made it as far as the bottom of the driveway before high centering and taking an hour and a half to get BACK up in the driveway.
Yesterday, as I partially cleared the driveway out of cabin fever boredom, I was struck with a sudden urge to call Dad to ask his advice for driving on these severely snowy roads. Maybe ask him what he would do in this situation to assure safety. Of course, I knew I did not have that luxury. But it’s the first time since his passing that I felt not only the loss of a parent, but the loss of a friend. Sitting in my apartment the last few days, my mind settled on thoughts of Dad in his own efficiency-style apartment. He didn’t have anyone that came to visit or places he needed to go, even when the roads were perfectly fine. Is this how my Dad spent the last part of his life? Watching movies and hoping his phone would ring? I have Atticus, at least, even if all he does is curl up next to the wall heater.
Those that know me best know I rarely have good dreams. They are mostly either confusing jumbles or bad dreams. Last night I had several dreams, all involving Dad. In them, he had either just died or was about to. In one of them, he was even driving away, waving at me as he left. I woke up each time, extremely sad and sometimes already crying. I’d have a brief moment of, “Oh, thank goodness, that was only a dream” only to remember that, no, it’s not a dream. I cannot reassure myself with, “Whew, at least Dad’s still here.” Those are really rough moments and do not help my low spirits.
I think tomorrow I’ll make the half mile walk to the grocery store and pick over what’s left. I still have a little food, but I need more and it’ll be good to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I’m supposed to go back to work on Saturday and I am not really sure how that’s going to happen, either.