THE CHILD OF A GREAT PHILOSOPHER

(Draft. From Manuscript, From Far Far Out There.)

The cracking voice said that he was calling because, “I’m looking for the soil that the long dead great philosopher was digging in. Tell me, please, who was your father?”

Answering the phone the academic asked the son about the great philosopher’s writing habits. The son smiled and said, “His eyes would close and then he would open them like beams of light. My father’s blue eyes were young and full and he only asked us to leave him alone when the door was shut. He never got angry but one time, and after that I never even saw his muscles tighten up.

“When I was younger (the son told the academic researcher) I would peek through the window at night from outside and into the study, standing on blocks of wood that were for the paper my father also made by hand, and looking in the window and into where he wrote, which is the smallest room in the cabin, most people were surprised because there wasn’t much in there besides a desk and a bed and a chair, and so I’m sorry but it’s hard to say for sure…because I wasn’t him…why he never finished it. Twenty years ago I heard my mother talking to him one time and my father said that “the words keep coming and the days and weeks and months and then years…” and this was the only time he got angry… and he yelled and knocked a plate out of my mother’s hand and I was frightened because I never saw him like that before. Standing back in the corner with our dog he didn’t even look like himself, but then he said he was so sorry and got a broom and a dust pan and said…I’m not even close, and that will never happen again. After that he  cleaned up the plate and walked into the study. He didn’t come out for three days. We thought something happened and we were worried that maybe he overdosed on his medication or had a heart attack, and so on the third night my mother said I should go in there to check on him. Hesitantly I opened the door and he wasn’t in there. Everything was neat and organized and the fire was burning. There was a huge leather notebook in the coals that read, Dein Lied Von Zeit, and so no, I wasn’t sure if that was the research that my father was working on but I had a bad feeling. Thinking that my father was in the bathroom that was connected to the study I opened the door but he wasn’t in there either. It was the fall but it was still humid out and the night was warm and colorful. There were stars overhead and the Big Dipper looked as if it was scooping up the forest, and while I was looking out the window I heard the sound of an ax. It was my father. He was cutting wood. “Did you climb out the window to avoid us” I asked him and He said “yes, yes I did”.

And that’s it. He told me to help him gather the leaves and place them into the fire and then help him with the buckets of well water, and this was normal because my father was a man of few words, and so I didn’t say much else. I did ask though, “was that the book? They’re going to want to know (meaning you guys…the hounds of academia that kept picking at him so much he had a hard time living a regular life even though he never showed it) and my father said, “I don’t think so”.

I hope that helps, because that’s it. That’s all I can tell you about your so called great philosopher. He was my dad and that’s it. I have to go now. Please don’t call again. I’m getting to be an old man myself, and you don’t have to keep doing this. Let it go. Click.” 

songbird

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