Old Boxes

In less than two weeks, I’ll be in Atlanta, GA for Dragon*Con.  For those that are unaware, it’s a 40,000+ member multi-genre fan convention that is spread out over five hotels in the downtown Atlanta area.  Went last year for the first time and had a total blast.  On the last day of August, I pile into a van with my friend Nikki, Brad, Niki, and Heather and road trip out there.  I assembled the best Marty McFly costume possible and will even spend a day wandering around in costume this year!  I get a little more excited every day.

In preparation for that road trip, I went to Mom’s yesterday to sort through an old box of Dad’s hats.  Dad collected them for awhile and had a ton to choose from.  Most of them were related to various grocery products or golf tournaments he attended.  Many memories flooded back as I sorted through them.  I laughed, smiled, talked to Mom about them.  It was good.  As I drove home with a paper grocery sack full of my favorites, I had a strange moment.  I almost turned to the sack of hats and said something, like I was about to tell Dad something.  Or tell a friend something about Dad.  It’s hard to explain.  For a very brief moment, I completely forgot where and when I was.  I didn’t get upset or anything at the time.  It was just odd.

Later in the day, I was watching an episode of The West Wing with my friend Amanda.  There’s a moment where one of the characters is celebrating a political victory in a primary election when he suddenly gets a phone call that his father died, which obviously stops him in his tracks.  As soon as it happened in the show, I had another moment, where my head tilted slightly.  I’d seen the show before, but it’s been awhile.  The moment was very similar to the phone call I received, ironically, precisely seven months prior to watching the episode.  I didn’t realize what day it was.

After the show was over, I sat in my room for a bit and, well, just sat there.  I wasn’t weeping or anything, or even overly sad.  I just felt a little disoriented.  It’s like that moment of realization where you say, “…oh.”

I feel like I’m moving forward alright, but the setbacks are disappointing.  For example, last week I had a dream where I re-married Indi.  I woke up and was angry at myself for feeling that way.  I went for a run to get past it and pushed myself a bit too hard.  Also last week, my team had a little meeting where we talked about how things were going and one piece of feedback they had for me was that I expect too much of myself.

But if I don’t expect a lot out of me, who will?

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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