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Walter: The Wave

Walter stood at the window of his unfurnished living room and watched his daughter saunter off toward the grouping on the corner. Each day he kept count. Would she turn and wave this time? It depended on her mood, he had deduced. Except that sometimes between the time she bounded down the stairs and reached her crowd of adoring fans on the corner, her mood would somehow miraculously lift. He chose to accept this as a random occurrence vs. growing indifference and was determined to not take it personally. Because after 6 months of her now living with him full-time and him worrying sick (when he never had to worry sick before), he knew that she knew that it comforted him when she made a point to look back over her shoulder. She knew he would be standing there because he was always standing there and no matter the importance of other things or distractions that might threaten this ritual, until the bus rolled out of site, he would still be standing there because he never wanted her to make the point of looking back only to see him not standing there. It was a strange paradox and the logic tripped him up at times. In order to see her disappointment, he’d have to be standing there to witness it. And if he was standing there to witness it, then the disappointment of him not being there would be a non-issue. And so it was his overly active imagination about things involving the breaking points of a 7-year-old girl that kept him awake at night. The only thing he knew for sure, was that if one of them were to have a broken heart, it should be him, because, well – and not to patronize her… definitely not – when it came to broken hearts, he’d simply had way more practice at it. So, he had decided that it didn’t even matter if she smiled or stared plainly at him from the corner or even from the bus window: so long as there was ‘something,’ it would be enough. And if, by some measure of good fortune, she were to also wave at him in the process, he would sail all the way through lunch (this last calculation was one that he intentionally kept to himself). In fact…when he really sat and thought about it… it was remarkable how little he would settle for. These days. #thestoryofwalter 0102

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