This I Believe

Christina - PBG, Florida
Entered on October 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in the passing of time; in transitions from confusion to eventual understandings and from clean to dirty. My bedspread should be yellowish or grey by now, but it has been perfectly white since the day I got it (it has been six years and I’ve washed it five times). I sleep in my mom’s bed because I hate making mine, but it bothers me to have it unmade (I deal with a conflict of interests). So, Every night I sink into the hole in the mattress that my father made before he moved out (it’s been seven years, and I don’t think you can wash mattresses)

It’s seemed to me before that my dad could never get out of those holes that he made in our mattresses and our couches. My dad likes to think that life is all about the struggle and not where that struggle takes you. Well my dad has been struggling his whole life and landed himself in an empty apartment. I am his sole confidant. He keeps up his spirits with failing entrepreneurial exploits and books. He makes out like he’s still seeing things at ground level. But like I said I’m the confidant; so I know better.

I think about the heaviness of things that makes his back hurt and how his long graceful fingers still itch for the sultry guitar that was smashed against the wall. There was a fire in his eyes that I’ve seen in yellowed photos, now doused by harsher realities than can be found on his sagging bookshelves. In short, my father bruises easily on the edges of life.

There’s a parallel between the rate at which time passes and the rate of growth in a person. My father and I share that parallel. As I got slowly older and very rapidly more mature, I became my father’s contact to the outside world (one not involved in the internet which is the site of all my father’s social interactions). We always talk mostly about him because he was always more confused than I was, but lately our car conversations (that are condensed to divorced parent and child timeline) have shifted to normal things, light things. We don’t talk about the meaning of life or his muddled past. He’s beginning to see a way out of these holes and I’m beginning to see the beginning of a relationship where we’re both on equal footing. I used to feel pity towards my father and a sort of deep yet patronizing love, now things have changed and I have nothing to attribute it to other than time. I do believe in the passing of time, and I believe in growth, but for now and above all I believe in my father and how he’s is now proof of the human capacity for growth.