Free write 1/2/21

The first night Dad invited us to a play in the basement, we descended the stairs in trepidation.

He’d moved down here after Mom died, and ever since, he’d been writing a play, his first in years. When he asked to move in, a months prior, Dean was thrilled.

“Sven Holstien, live here? In our basement?”

I reminded Dean that he was just my dad. Just like other dads.

“Not really though,” Dean said. “He’s Sven Holstien–like THE German playwrite. you can’t have Sven Holstien as your dad and think you just had a normal guy for your father.”

I couldn’t help be remember the scenes he asked me to act out for him when I was a child. There we were, my brother and I in our pajamas on Christmas morning, and Dad hadn’t slept a wink as he poured over his newest manuscript. And instead of presents when we first woke up he handed us our scripts and positioned us in the living room and asked us to read.

“He’s just my dad,” I told Dean. “You’ve met him before.”

“Yeah, but you know–I’ve never had like, an actual conversation with him about–“

“About his plays?” I asked.

“Yeah. About his work.”

“He doesn’t really talk about his work.”

And I was right. Dad moved in over two months ago and we’d only seen him at breakfast and dinner. He rarely ate lunch as far as we could tell, and his herky-jerky old-age walk wasn’t conducive to him climbing the stairs more than he had to.

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