“torschlusspanik (german): – gate closing panic, or the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages”
In honour of Father’s Day – enjoy!
When he held her in his arms for the first time, he didn’t quite know what to think – which one feeling in the hurricane to grasp on to. He’d expected to see some resemblance, to say she looked just like her parents – except she didn’t. There had been no curl of black hair on her soft head, neither a dusting of freckles on her little pink face. But she was beautiful, all the same. He told her he loved her; she screamed to be put down.
At six, she was a tempest: wild hair, wild spirit. She was a child of the earth, from the dirt under her fingernails to the defiant will that bloomed like ivy from her heart, and wrapped around his. Scraped knees – he kissed – and then she’d be off, again, to stare down the sun with her sharp, mossy glare.
She didn’t grow – she bloomed. A true rose; her lovely smile drew hapless prey to the mercifully brutal prick of her tongue. She didn’t need a protector, but still, he wanted to be her hero. He was her first knight, with his armour of patchwork wooden toys tied on with yellow ribbons; with his broom-handle lance. Now, like the broken music box on her dresser, he was obsolete – gathering a layer of dust.
He tells her he loves her as she goes to dance…