He was a practical joker. Yet his humor could be so so dry that it left a person crumbling. Often it was impossible for an outsider to determine whether or not my father was joking. He either left people insulted or laughing.
There was no other result.
And he didn't care whether or not you got the joke. At the end of the day, it was for his own amusement. Not to suggest he didn't enjoy the outright. He did. Fake spiders. Fake mice. Sometimes, real mice. My dad. He gave me my sense of humor. My irreverence.
You had to be smart to get my father.
And he was brilliant.
He designed buildings. Spaces. Furniture.
He designed dollhouses with the same attention he did full scale structures.
He designed his life around ideals that remain impossible for me to grasp, or completely mysterious to me.
Will I ever make him proud?
There was never a more meticulous, dedicated, obsessive, hard working, tortured being.
He was an architect. An artist. An engineer. An interior designer. A teacher. A student. A chef. A drinker of cheap wine. A reader. An observer.
A log keeper. Everything identified. Everything remarked upon. Everything in its place.
He was alone.
He cooked. He created. He just wanted a person to enjoy.
He had impeccable taste. He was relentlessly irreverent.
He said out loud what other people thought but never said. He never wavered or waffled. He offended many. He didn't care.
My father. His one wish was to design until the day he died.
He got his wish.
He loved us, and marveled at the fact that his children got along.
A man. The last of a dying breed. A cruel mix of love and indifference. Hardworking. Stoic.
My father. He wrote everything down. He revealed nothing.