Love is complicated, isn’t it ? I miss my father’s laugh and smile, his singing, all those things that comfort me when I reflect on my own life as a father. I don’t miss the fear of him, his fury and depths of anger as he lashed out against the world, against flesh, against the gravel and potholes of all those sidestreets of Southwest Detroit.
I need to remember my father, so I carefully tend to the in-tact, loving memories I have, like those few precious flowers clinging to life in my pitiful late summer garden; but, it seems cruel, somehow, to tend to the good while still suffering the fallout of the bad.
I have no answers. I keep writing to help make sense of what happened back there in the ‘60’s, 70’s, 80’s and ‘90’s of Detroit’s ever-changing southwest neighborhood. Is it wrong to keep going back to my favorite Mexican bakeries to taste my past, to get closer to the smell of my childhood? I visit Los Galanes restaurant on Bagley and each time I order the enchiladas con mole, I want to cry. A quiet, restrained, muted cry. And I continue eating , alone, at the table-for -two near the front window overlooking the view of La Gloria Bakery, another culinary curio of my crazy Mexican life thinking Dad’s going to walk by the window any minute and catch site of me , nod his head and smile.
Dad and Chechi