I just wasn’t prepared for how much it would suck.

Things are at critical ’round these parts – I haven’t found any work, all the bills are heading to collection, the car is going to get repo-ed … you know, pretty much the usual you would expect to happen to someone out of work for 3 months. Because things are so bad, I had decided to finally suck it up and ask my dad for a “loan”. My folks don’t even know I lost my job yet (nor do they spend anytime online), since it’s much less humiliating to say “I lost my job in February but now I’m working Someplace Else” than to just say “I got fired in February and haven’t done shit since”. So last night I waded through my debt to see what might help, and this afternoon I took a deep breath and dialed the number.

Except Dad isn’t at home, he’s in the hospital.

Apparently he fell late Tuesday night and fractured his hip. Refused to see a doctor until Wednesday afternoon, when the pain really started in, at which point he headed to the ER, and, eventually, into surgery for a partial hip replacement. He’ll be there for another week, then in a rehab for another 2-3 weeks of physical therapy. Assuming everything goes according to plan, and there are no complications.

Damn it.

He’s a hell of a guy, my dad. The absolute warmest memories I have of childhood are memories with him. He got me hooked on comic books, and movies, and novels of wondrous adventures; he showed me by example that it doesn’t matter how mundane and humdrum your life is, you can always take time to visit John Carter of Mars, or Spider Man, or detective Sam Spade. In many ways, he is me, just a couple generations out of time (technically speaking, he is my step-grandfather … he’s 79 years old) – my Spider Man was his The Spirit; my Tolkien is his Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Every single weekend he would spend an afternoon in Boston, and from the time I could finally keep up with his gargantuan strides until the time my inevitable adolescent idiocy kicked in, I got to go with him. I looked forward to those trips to the city all week, hundreds of them I’m sure over the years. The train ride, the maze of subway stations, the stop at ‘our’ comic book store for the week’s goodies, lunch from a pushcart, and always capped off with a movie at one of the dozen theaters we knew like old friends.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t walked like that in too many years, and this blow to his hip isn’t likely to help. And so I’m sitting here on the other side of the country, worrying for him and praying for him, and railing against the universe for taking such delight in heaping abuse on us all.

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