My Childhood Stranger

by Chris de Serres


He would ask me how the car was running?  How is work?  It’s like saying hello.  A mainstay of every encounter.  We didn’t really know each other particularly well.

I couldn’t tell you what his favorite color was.  What his dreams were.  Even his upbringing is fragmented.  I knew he didn’t like his father.  He moved out of the house the first chance he got.  Joined the Air Force.

He didn’t like sports.  He didn’t engage in exercise to stay fit.  He worked on the yard instead.  He was always so practical.

He loved television.  It was the only time I felt the life in him.  He watched sitcoms in his Laz-E-Boy, with a stack of Oreos on one arm and the remote on the other.  He had a high piercing laughter which shot out like a lightning bolt, somewhat unexpectedly.

He watched television for hours until bedtime arrived.  Then he did the same thing the next day…and the next.

He was, and is, impenetrable.  Like God.  You never really know God.  He’s just up there, hovering over you.  You want to please him, but you never know if you do.

Have you ever tried to talk to God?  To tell him I wanted something different.  I wanted a relationship with you.  Yet, I feel robbed by your distance.  By your aloofness.  By your limited capacity to show me love.  To show me vulnerability.

Instead, it’s all surface.  That’s all it ever will be.