I’m cleaning the basement with dad

Facebook is full of touching tributes to dads everywhere — both present and past.

Every piece of praise I read makes me want to talk to my own dad. But since he’s been gone more than 20 years now, it sounds a lot like talking to myself.

So I went down to the basement and started cleaning. That seems like a really Dad thing to do, only his cleaning usually happened in the garage. Right now, my garage is too jam-packed to straighten up, so I decided to descend to the equally messy depths of the house where gems are waiting for judgment — do I polish it up or send it to Goodwill. Right now, the polishing is winning, but there are plenty of Goodwill items waiting on the steps to finish the journey to the car.

I remember once, as a teenager, deciding to clean out the garage for Dad. Boy, was he mad. I didn’t realize then that he knew where everything was and what appeared junky and messy to me, was just right to him. I had invaded his kingdom and I didn’t make that mistake again.

Still,  it is amidst the junk and mess that I feel right at home and close to Dad. The only other places we had in common were the garden (which I didn’t discover until my 30s) and under a good light with a good book.

Now that I have dirt smudges everywhere, I’m going back to the thriller by Barry Eisler I was reading earlier. I think Dad would approve.