He got lost a few months ago when he was driving a few blocks on Highway Six to the post office. Unfortunately, Highway Six in the wrong direction can get a person way out of town. Hours and hours later, after we tracked him to Charleston and then back to Summerville (and at that point thinking he was coming home) he ended up out of gas way up in northeastern South Carolina, having run out of gas in the middle of the road. There was a police officer who stayed with him on the road for nearly three hours while FrM and my mother drove up to get him. The car had stopped itself next to a pond. As my mother was making phone calls, FrM chatted with the police officer, who casually took out his flashlight and shone it over the pond next to the road. Little red, beady dots covered the surface of the water. "Y'know what those are there?" says he. "Alligators?" says FrM. "S'right," says he.
Obviously it makes me sad. Of anyone I have ever known, my father is a man stuffed full of stories. And they're all true. Three times he might forget he bought a birthday card for my mother before we even get out of the store, but he has a very precise memory of his hometown, his childhood and his family. If we can ask nothing else for now, this is a blessing beyond measure.
A Wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! (C.D. Tale of Two Cities)