Family obligations being what they are, I try to be happy when in the presence of my father.
I try to be upbeat and companionable while maintaining boundaries but sometimes I fail.
Mostly not though. Mostly we enjoy the company of each other and I leave when I feel like it.
Today we started off early and went for breakfast around 8am. We saw a few people we know, and Dad even magnanimously invited an older lady to sit with us. This is really big for him as in the past he has always been worried she may take things the wrong way if he even looks at her.
She is around his age and they go to the same church.
We three are partners in solidarity re: divorce. This woman had a horrible thing happen to her after experiencing a stroke. She had been married (again) for around 5 years and things were going well. Her husband had been ill with some health issues and she had been taking care of him when she had a stroke. They were both in the same hospital when his children showed up and took him away to another Province. Permanently. Farewell marriage. She came home to her own house and licked her wounds. We all thought she had recovered admirably.
The conversation at our table centred around Driver's Licenses. She had to take her road test and failed. She took driver's lessons until she could pass the test and then she went out and bought herself a new car. Hurrah! Then... it happened.
She looked at us conspiratorially and said in a hushed voice:
"I had the Pastor over to my house and he told me he did not believe it."
Now I admit those years of punk and roll did some permanent damage and I do miss a few things but I was fairly certain we had not been talking about anything involving the church.
Still.... I asked her what he was referring to.
"Oh the telephone and internet lines. I called the Church and said it was an emergency and no one came. No one at all! The young Pastor came the next day and told me he did not believe it."
Dad looked at me out of the side of his eyes. I pretended to do the crossword nonchalantly.
"What is wrong with the telephone lines?" I asked quietly.
She leaned across the table and it all spilled out in a rush of words. She was rather worked up about it too.
"Someone came in and laid a new line across the floor and then hid it behind the carpet. I found it when I moved the rug. I never ordered a new line. And there are people living under my house. I have not figured out how they get there. I came home and the whole house smelled like marijuana. I figure it's them about the telephone too. They can hear everything I say."
I know this line of conversing. Remember the woman who believed we had found a home identical to her own and moved her in there? She was convinced that someone was responsible for this outrage! Yes, I know this road and where it leads to.
I looked our breakfast guest in the eye and asked:
"Do you really believe that someone would do that? Do you really think someone comes and goes in your home without your knowlege and moves things?"
She looked at me triumphantly.
"Yes, I absolutely do." She said it with authority.
" I know it sounds crazy but I am certain 100% that someone is fooling around with me. I just don't know why. Or how they get in without me seeing them."