My Father Essay

771 Words4 Pages
During the time my father was in the hospital, it made sense to leave the car in the hospital’s underground garage. I would stop at the top of the entrance’s small abyss and let my white Opel slide down the ramp. I’d stop to press the button, pass underneath the bar, and begin to look for a spot. I always found one. I detested going to the hospital, feigning a serenity that I didn’t have, squeezing into the gigantic elevator boxes, breathing that air which was too clean—ammoniac, unreal, disinfectant—until arriving at the fifth floor. Walking between the beds of sick people as if in a minefield—don’t touch me, don’t let death touch me—and then Hello, dad, how’s everything, everything okay?, you rest. I hated going to the hospital, although I did like descending into the garage and slowly maneuvering my white Opel. Sinking into the asphalt bowels gave me a strange sense of calm. I’d turn on the car’s headlights, and that gray, red, and yellow interior, the symmetry of the walls and columns, became a dependable realm with its safe rules and oneiric silence (do we dream sounds?). Fortunately, at the end of a few weeks my father improved. So my family and I agreed on daily shifts that allowed everyone to rest. I noticed how much happier we all were, that the hours were going by more quickly. However, I also noticed in myself a certain nostalgia for the hospital’s underground garage. The unspeakableness of this feeling prevented me from varying my routine right away. But the moment arrived when, on the days when I didn’t go, I began to experience a new anxiety that was impossible to fight: the anxiety of the absurd, when you realize that the absurd is real. More and more frequently, I’d go to the hospital on my days off. My family praised endlessly my ability to sacrifice. My father was elated. I felt like a burrowing animal. They released my father one morning in

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