A few weeks ago Riley opened a book. Two pieces of paper fell out. Slick and fading, they were tickets from a roundtrip flight my dad took in 2006. A year when there were still paper tickets to leave in between paper pages. I was two months away from being married when he took that flight. He was eight years away from being dead. And those tickets were twelve years away from falling onto my kitchen counter in Oakland.
I held them by their corners, one taking him from his home, one returning him to it. It seemed like if I could get memory and moment to play together, if I could keep the ink from continuing to slip from age-shined surface, if I could tell one force what I hope and one force what I know, if I could close my eyes until they could see the thing waiting to be seen, if I could do all this in a quiet space with a quiet heart, then I’d hear it. His boots on the wood floor. Just around the corner until a moment came, one too certain for a sigh,
It seemed so real, it still does. A recipe nearly read right. I can’t really explain it. Well, maybe I can. Too many viewings of Interstellar in my adulthood and too many viewings of Somewhere in Time in my childhood. It’s silly. I know.
I put the tickets on a shelf where I won’t lose them.