Interlude: Saturday, October 9, 1999

Dad called and asked if there was anything the matter. I cradled the phone between my ear and shoulder, stared out the window at the unfamiliar cars parked in front of my house, and asked what he meant.

My mom died two years ago. While she was alive, I could swear a divorce was only precluded by social necessity. Catholics of my parents’ stripe did not get divorced and looked down on those who did. But with death, dad lost himself. He’s been slipping. He doesn’t know what to do with his time, who to argue with, or what to eat. He can’t stand watching television and wanders his neighborhood, examining  the backsides of buildings.

He said I was acting funny. 

Funny? 

Oddly, he said. Calling at strange times.

I assured him that I was fine and that I’d be around more. He tried to talk again, but I hushed him, said I had some papers to grade, and hung up.