Seventeen years younger and as carefree as you can be, that tricycle rolls around Date street – over all of his father’s worries. How he smiled when he saw that tricycle! How he smiled when I saw that tricycle! How his heart melted over his bipolar soul when his seed learned to ride that tricycle!
Bicycle! How he smiled and his smile grew wider as he ran behind that bicycle – holding the seat of that bicycle – while his seed screamed, “Don’t let go of me and my bicycle!” How his chemicals got the best of him when he finally let go and his [in]dependant son learned to ride on his own. How his seed pedaled further and further down the street and he watched, and he would have like to believe that his eyes beamed with pride, but they beamed with sadness and those wheels kept on spinning past need and dependency.
I picture. I picture my father, healthy, healthy, sitting next to my mother behind a closed bedroom door where I can’t see… and he stares down at his hands and he buries his face in them and he’s wondering where the time goes – where the end of four years left him without a bike to hold on to, while his boy rides the red and silver memory down the street, wondering where his gift of a bike that he can’t hold on to anymore will take his boy.
I hear his chemicals rip apart at that feeling of being wanted that he kept close to his heart, and he can’t take his eyes off of his cracked fingers that his seed doesn’t need to steady the seat anymore, because his boy can do it on his own.
I wanted to tell the tale as detailed as the demons did with those four white walls as their canvas.
Well, my father’s father was a failure! And his mother loved her lover more than she loved her sons. My father is nearing the end of a good fight that he’s fought since the beginning: a far better man than the one he feared he might become. Glendora will always be the place his brain fragmented, and China will always be the place that he felt whole. Beijing will be the place the devil tried to fight it, and my mother will always be the keeper of his soul. Well, I just want them to grow old together, to sit on the front porch of their home together, to laugh about how my sister was the far more responsible child; to reminisce of how much we’ve grown.
You’ve still got to marry me and my wife, and you’ve still got to walk your daughter down the isle and give her to a man that you trust enough to take care of your little girl. You’ve got to see the smile on her face when she sees the smile on mom’s face when she sees the smile on your face as you give away your world. We’re all riding our tricycles, bicycles through these streets and we’re all gradually letting go. I know it doesn’t make it any easier, but you are not the failure that your parent’s were and I’d have never learned to ride on my own.
Well, how frail are these bodies! (And with your hand turned against me…) We blossom like a flower and then whither in the winter and like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear. If I hold my head high, you hunt me like a lion, and even if I try, I can’t feel you when you say that you’re near. My days fly faster than the weaver’s shuttle, and they end without hope. You, my lucky man, have been privileged to joy and cope in the same suffering your savior claims he knows! And who are you to challenge your creator? Surely resentment destroys the fool, and have you ever commanded the morning into daylight’s transition into evening’s cool?
All I know is that we’re all houses that someone crafted for a reason. Some of our paint is chipping, and we weather with the seasons, but all of us branches are prone to decay, so was it an honorable man or a cruel hand that made us this way? I am a house that creaks and groans, and all of my bones shake. I’ve got a cornerstone that I call my own, but I stumble on it every day, and the one that makes me a home, the builders rejected and threw away. On some days, I am tempted to follow suit and uproot my faith.
You built up your identity as a failure, gave ear to demons, legions, screaming, “Some father you are! Some husband! Some friend! Some pastor! Some man! Some lover! Some Christian! Some brother! Some son! Some change that you turned out to be in the end!”
Just look at the work of your hands! (Left dead to survey the damage.) I wanted to paint the picture as detailed as the devil did with those four white walls as his canvas.
But I finally believe that God is going to heal my dad! And it took a long, long time to get here, but I’ve heard rumors of rest for the heavy-laden, and you do not have a savior unable to sympathize with your weaknesses. There are liars inside your mind that you lay claim to control your life, and there are monsters inside your heart that have dug in their talons and become a part of you; but there is mercy every morning, and to the burdened, there is rest, and that promise overwhelms the deepest bouts of doubt and consciousness.
All I want is for joy to replace to the pain inside those irises. And all my dad wants is to ride his bike again! The one with the basket on the back that I sat in as a kid, and we’d ride by the fire stations and the firemen would blare the sirens for me from their fire trucks, and I would know what it was to trust and practice faith like a child! Do you remember what it is to become as a child?
I know you’re ready to go home, but if you could withstand the tests of time, oh, Job will sing out in the choir that we are the blink of an eye, pleading: there is rest! And this is not who you are, the way the light is not characterized by shadow, the dark, or the depth of his scars, saying: “Oh my pain is significant, but it did not make me savior, in resurrection you are made in the image and likeness of your creator.” Be joy! And may it be for the glory of the Lord, because, God if there is a point to this, I don’t see it anymore. But I believe in sovereignty – in something bigger than you and me and history and the way these generational curses seem to rip apart at the seams of our family.