Sunday, November 2, 2008
BLUE ELECTION DAY
My father and I had a difficult relationship. He had been a lawyer, and desperately wanted his only son to follow in his footsteps, and eventually take over his firm. Well, I had very different ideas about what I wanted out of life, and I obviously was too young and naive to take advantage of an offer to live on Easy Street, so I told him "No thanks..." I was going to be an artist.
My dad and I didn't speak for about two years of my life as I turned my back on his dreams and pursued my own. After college I moved back to New York City and began my career and my father slowly began to appreciate my efforts and our relationship began to thaw. I remember that I had this job working for this artist back then, and she had an opening of a show on Halloween night. I had worked hard to help her get her show together, and I had told my father of my efforts, and to my surprise he showed up at the opening and was cornered by this woman who I had been working for who told him that I was a talented guy and a hard worker and deserved so much, his support. My father told me that he was really proud of me, and left the opening, and I spent the rest of the night celebrating Halloween and my boss' accomplishments and my own.
The following Tuesday was Election Day and I remember I was working diligently at school in my studio when my roommate came in looking for me and told me I had to go home. That my mother had called and that my father was sick. I phoned my mother who told me to come home but she didn't tell me that my father had already died. He had an aneurysm on the train on his way to work. I went home and spent the night there, my entire family was in shock. That night we had all kinds of visitors and got all kinds of phone calls. My dad had been an active guy in local county politics and he was missed at the Democratic Headquarters that night for vote counting and celebrating, as he was normally there.
Anyway-Election Day always carries with it some strange significance for me. I look forward to the day every year as the day of remembrance dedicated to my father. I don't have any idea of what day he actually died. To me it is always Election Day.
It is usually bittersweet. Sometimes my melancholy is relieved if the Democrats actually win. I hope that this year will somehow be a joyous one.