“You have fever” he said it calmly, a statement of fact.

Do I?

I thought that meditation heals us by boosting the immune system.  I pick up the thermometer and read it.  “No I don’t.”  He waggles his brows at me and says, “I am off to work.  Make yourself some chicken soup and stay in bed.  If you feel the same in the evening, I’ll take you to the doctor.”

I smile dutifully.  I know I should not feel irritated, but he infantilizes me.  I am not a baby.

Sigh … he is a good man!

I hear the door slam shut as my benign despot goes to work.  My body hurts, my throat feels sore.  I put the thermometer into my mouth again.  No fever.

Getting out of bed, I undress.  No, nothing should cover me as I meditate.  I sit down on the floor mat and start breathing deeply, trying to get to the root of the problem.

His face flashes in front of me, angry bitter contemptuous.  Nothing I did or achieved was ever good for him.  Surprising, considering he was a big zero in life.  What did he ever do, apart from torment me, pile on his huge burden of expectations on me?

Would it ever be over?

I recall the relief, joy even, as I flew out of the city, feeling miles pile up between me and his vice like grip on my life, my happiness.

Breathe deeply ….

Forgive yourself ….

The fever burns away, burning away the anger, the hurt, the recrimination, the burden of crippling expectations.

I sweat

I come to terms with myself, I am the simplest of beings.  I want to live this life with simplicity.  I want to be kind, loving.  I want honesty, tolerance and humor.  I want to be simple.

My throat hurts.  I want to not be dependent, yes even on my benevolent despot.  That path leads to frustration, makes one manipulative.

But most of all, I want to forgive myself.

Meditation done.

Sighing I pick up my phone, still unclothed and punch his number.

“Yes Daddy.  My husband is in office.  I will speak to him in the evening.”

I don’t want to go visit him ….

Forgive him, forgive myself.

I wash away the regret, the remorse.

I walk into the balcony with my cup of tea and look around, aware of the  obstacles of  perceived misperceptions, of self-awareness which inhibit,  serotonin shortage or more likely the unfortunate consequence of having an ego– at once striving and reconciling.  The desire to love a parent, unreservedly but knowing, as an adult, that he is flawed.

I watch a two year old girl cling to her father’s leg, until he laughs and buys her the ice cream she wants.

I smile.  Put down my mug and call.

“Darling, Daddy rang up.  He’s had another stroke.  I will be flying down tonight.  No I don’t want you to come with me, I want to do this alone.”

“How is your fever?” he asks.

“No fever” I reply.

It burnt away, leaving a kind of forgiveness …

For me

For Daddy

The Story Cabin prompt Fever


2 thoughts on “Fever

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