I walked through the front door feeling deflated—not an uncommon feeling for me to have after hanging out with Jared. A clue I suppose that we weren’t the greatest match. My dad sat at our small round kitchen table. His graying brown hair looked whiter under the bright light. He sat, hunched over a magazine; his forehead was resting in his hand.
“Hey dad,” I said. There was something about walking through the door that highlighted the weight or everything I experienced out in the world.
“Hey kid,” my dad said this without taking his eyes off the table, “I found the gold and bronze Hammer Bot this morning at the thrift shop by the park. It looks like….” He ran his finger along the glossy paper.
I shut and locked the door behind me.
“Yep, I just need two more Fight Space Bots, and my collection is complete,” he said sitting back in his chair. My dad finally gave me a good look. Her brows furrowed. “What’s up kid?”
“Long day,” I said walking over to the refrigerator.
“How was mom?” He studied me carefully.
“She was mom,” I grabbed the glass bottle of Happy Farms chocolate milk, popped the cap, and took a swig.
“Get a cup, would you?” His giant eyebrows pointed down in frustration.
“I just wanted a sip.” I close the bottle and put it back in the fridge. “Did the mail come?”
“Yep,” he looked at me above the rim of his gold framed rectangle glasses, “nothing yet.”
“Patience,” my dad said as he brought his attention back to the catalog.
“Is that new?” I glanced over my dad’s shoulder to see a very thick book, with glossy pages and pictures of accent-looking toys.
“Oh, this one? No, this is a special edition that comes out annually,” my dad said with a distance in his voice the signified he was ready for a quiet room again. He spent all of his free time, thinking about toys, reading about the, looking up and organizing the ones he had. My dad would travel all over to go to different toy shows. This hobby or his was around before me. His obsession only seemed to grow more intense over time. Anytime he would buy me a toy as a child; he’d buy two and keep one in the box just incase it ever became valuable. The daydreaming of possible collections was his escape. As mom got sicker, he became more obsessed with collection toys. Listening to my dad talk about his finds, was one of the only times he seemed happy and at peace. It was hard it ignore the gapping hole my mother caused to form in him. In a lot of ways she was this awful elephant in the room, something large in our away.
My dad started to highlight lines of numbers under a picture of a blue and teal, tin toy robot. I took a note of his retreat. “Gonna hit the sack,” I said walking toward the closest size hall behind the living room. “Good night.”
“Nite,” my dad said, now completely distracted.