You sit alone in the summer nightwith the engine running, thinking Why—Why did all this happen? Whydoesn't the old man understand?Suddenly the velvet darkis probed by distant headlights, nowthe night is naked about you. Hideyour eyes from the glare. You lift your hand."Is everything OK, sir?"The Mountie towers at your side.(What was happening moments beforeyour silence was broken? And back homewhen you walked out, slamming the door,drove to Muskoka and pulled up here?)"Is everything OK, sir?"(Sounds as if he really cared.)Out of the dark a wild duck callsand nervously you scratch your beard."Sure, officer. Trying to be alone!"The words hang strangely on the air.You look ahead. Without a wordthe Mountie's gone and dark floods back.Funny—no other questions, orders ...Just like he understood, just likehe really cared, that cop. No hate.No argument. And no one "wrong."You want to thank him. Is that odd?Too late. He's gone. Inside you feelgood ... ... ... ...

But now you think of Dadstanding alone there back at home,your last words shaking in his face.Not what you meant to say at all.Not what he meant to happen. Why ...?So much was said.And if you were "right," why do you feellike this?—"Maybe both of uswere wrong. But what's he feeling now?"

Dear Parents,
September 2, 1972

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