I’ve seen you before, again….

I saw your face and thought of a name, but was it yours, I wondered, and couldn’t say for sure.  Was it at work, in the clinic, in front of the vet, or down the road at the gas-station, the gym, or…?  I know, I remember now…it was when you were getting out of your car that day with your little ones in the grocery store parking lot and I hesitated before pulling into the spot next to you because your kids were standing there with big eyes looking at the car, my car, that was coming at them.  I just sat there in my patience and waited for you to grab their hands or usher them in some other way out of “my” spot.  You looked up and glared at me and angrily waved at me to drive on in.  I still waited, as I do, for you to get the little ones’ hands, to offer them your security, that sense of “Daddy’s got you, so it’s OK” before I continued in with my car.  You were swearing at me when I finally parked and you were walking away, little ones in tow.  As my car alarm beeped in my leaving, your words of “What the fuck are you looking at?!” bounced into my ears and around in my head and I couldn’t imagine “what the fuck” you were talking about.  I shouted “Hey!” and you yelled “What, bitch?!” and I said “I was waiting for your little ones to move.”  You suggested that I stop being such a fucking idiot and just park my goddamned car as your little ones’ eyes went from you to me as they were being tugged bodily up through the asphalted parking lot and into the store where the air-curtain above the door whooshed and splayed at their hair and yours and mine as I followed, not following, per se, just going in the same direction.

And it’s you I see again one day, inside of another store, with you waiting in line for the lady to ring-up your stuff and me walking past to go into another aisle.  Your kids aren’t with you and we, consequently, have nothing to talk about, but you see me and I see you and I remember very clearly where I know you from.  I see you looking after me as I turn into the aisle and my face is calm and your brow is furrowed.  “Where do I know you from?” you’re wondering, maybe, as you were wondering, still, when I left the opening to the aisle and was gone again.

Today, literally, these years later, I still see your little ones’ eyes.  Their tiny, large brown eyes looking at me through long and curly lashes and framed with clean black hair.  I see them looking at me behind the windshield and then walking through the parking lot, seemingly at and after them and I wonder at their wondering.  I see them looking up at you and your full brown angry face and silver black hair, first one and then the other, and then back at me.  I see their little arms tugged in their tiny t-shirts as you hauled them out of the parking spot and across the lot and into the store.

I see them still….

This is a Favorite Re-post from October 2010.

10 responses

  1. Nicely done. Eloquent and relevant and haunting in its gentle tone.

    November 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

    • Thank you, Mike…you know I appreciate your words….

      November 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm

  2. Fantastic Scott… I felt every single word of this. You are a most talented writer ~ tugged my heartstrings…. hear you ~ x RL

    November 13, 2012 at 9:54 am

    • I’m glad you felt it, Robyn…thank you for your dear words….

      November 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm

  3. This one sends me down too many alleys of thought…. what made him so hostile.? was he like that with his kids, too? Was he always like that, or was it just an exceptionally bad day? Could he have been embarrassed by his behavior when he thought about it later?

    November 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    • Very many alleys of thought, Gunta…and I would only be guessing if I offered anything for explanation. I have no clue….

      November 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

  4. Nut Balls

    Wow…It is easy to get sucked into this one as you describe the moments. It didn’t take me long to realize that this must have been in Phoenix…not the more amicable Salt Lake City 🙂

    November 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    • Well I’m glad it sucked you in, Nate…and no, definitely not from here….

      November 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm

  5. I hope this is not a reflection on an actual experience–I’d not like to think of a parent acting that way around his children. But I know it happens, and it certainly will make your readers think twice when tempted to react in anger when in the presence of their own..

    November 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    • I can still see the parking lot, Gary…can still see his back as he was walking away from me…can still see his face today, truly…and yes, hopefully we will all remember the examples we set for our children in our actions and choice of words…. Thank you….

      November 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm

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