I catch you staring across my desk this morning. In photographic grey-scale, you are nearly a man now. In memory, initially, I always see you as that tiny boy, the day we moved to New York. You stared out between the slats of your stairway railing, asked me the question that adults don’t often answer sufficiently. Tears in your eyes, you asked me why I was leaving.
I want to say it’s funny, the way that time moves separately, separated as we are from each other.
I want to say it’s funny the way you grew into yourself while I was becoming more and more lost.
It is difficult to see you this way. It is difficult for me to face the acceleration, difficult to look at my daughter and know even as she crawls into my lap for her morning cuddle that I am losing her in this way. And let’s be honest, difficult for me to know that I am growing old.
To know that day, I cried too, after leaving your house, that I still felt that young in ways, that I understood.
That I still have no satisfactory answer to the question of why I left.
We just learn how to leave. We learn to stop asking why.
C.C. Russell lives in Wyoming with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in such places as Wyvern Lit, Rattle, Word Riot, The Cimarron Review, and The Colorado Review. He has also lived in New York and Ohio.