Being places is strange; my muscle memory and intuitions tell me that things should be different or things should be happening that aren’t happening. I have so many layers of memories from over the past several years of being in Colorado and how my dad fit into those memories seamlessly because of how he was there and how I explained it to him.
I’ve been thinking about a lot of these very vivid moments, and it almost seems like moments started to be more vivid for me when I came here. Like being at Fort Lupton in the snow and making jokes, awkardly, towards those kids, really liking the drive out there. Being in my bathroom in Greeley, and in my bedroom, and at the desk I sat at there, walking across the long room. The runs I took and feeling somewhat confident, athletic. Being at the Buttes with all of those kids, the day I asked, “Where did you get your piercing done, it looks really good,” and the answer was, “I did it myself.” My first somewhat relaxed summer, looking out at the pretty backyard, always very green and rolling blue. The time when I was moving out of the house in Greeley and my dad and I went to the Italian restaurant and the food was good but the coffee was pretty bad, which was like an understanding we had, that it just wasn’t very good coffee. How much he liked taking the back roads to Denver, remarking on how he had seen the fields from the plane, envisioning maybe living out there, or back there. Taking the same walk I did during my first year in Denver when he visited and I was working, taking pictures of things that he liked with his phone, making that walk like a memory he was pushing forward, like I usually feel when I’m walking, like it’s something I can do and remember and feel secure in. Maybe one of most important, being in Mesa Verde, and taking an early walk, and he was talking about all of the things he envisioned doing in his life and how open it was and there were so many different ways to do it. It seemed like we were walking down this really open road, the sun was coming up, and it felt important, but at the same time natural, and easy. In Denver, he really liked Vine Street pub and the Italian restaurant in a house, and something was really funny this one time we went there. We had a good time, eating pizza, and then went to have coffee, and we had this box of leftovers that was somehow conspicuous and it turned into a joke, but mostly I think the humour was from the lightness and happiness of the evening, since that’s how it was.
Memories too of just driving, by myself and with my dad, from Greeley to a lot of rural high schools when I was working, and enjoying that even if it felt strange, and then driving from Greeley to Denver, taking the back roads when Erik told me about them. Driving from Greeley to Fort Collins, Greeley to Colorado Springs, in Colorado Springs, saying “the mountains look so good!” and Karina laughing at that, from Denver to Fort Collins, down the entire state that one fourth of July. My dad always saying these forward-thinking, framing things, about my life, making it seem always important and always as if I was doing the right thing.
In Denver, taking the giant van from DU to Manual and barreling down the tiny streets, feeling suddenly responsible, and capable, but also worried and somehow faltering on the edge of something, and growing into that, this more challenging, professional life, that I feel so undecided about or that I have one toe or one foot in, the rest of me is somewhere else.
And I’m partly mad, doing the same things he would do, by seeing these places and feeling these things, but at least it’s reminding of all of that and how important everything can be, and how much he liked everything that happened.