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JP’s Doppelganger

August 23rd, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

JP’s away for the week with his mother, and my girlfriend and I also decided to leave town, as this might be our last solo vacation before the new baby comes and changes everything. I’m upstate in a little shack by a lake, and it’s raining, and the only thing to do is watch the ducks feeding in the water. Last night I grilled clams and sausage and made a fire with wet firewood and drank Irish whiskey until it got late. Not bad.

Of course, it’s always a little disorienting to have too much fun when JP isn’t around. I tell myself not to feel that way. First, what good would it do, and second, he’s off with his mother enjoying himself, and I should feel good about that, and I do, so why feel bad? But it’s difficult. It only highlights the ways in which it’s unnatural to be apart from your child. I am keenly made aware that he has half a life that exists entirely independent of mine, and half his childhood memories won’t include me.

The house next to mine on the lake is occupied by a friendly family with a bunch of kids. The youngest is a boy about JP’s age, about his size, about his build, about the same color hair, and so forth. Yesterday, he was fishing on the pier with his grandmother—pulled in three sunfish in the space of an hour while I had a short swim and puttered about with the grill.

You ever have the feeling the world is conspiring against you? That forces exist that not only run counter to your best interest, but that are actively conspiring to lower your spirits? I rarely do, but this child sapped some of my pleasure. Not that the boy had anything to do with me, other than wanting to show me his fish and comment on my dog, but he just sounded so much like my son that I had to go inside.

Ah, well, the rain today has certainly made me a pleasant fellow. I think I’ll have another coffee and then call JP.


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