10-Line Tuesday

October 28, 2014

the man who isn't my father-in-law

We sit on the stacked bleachers watching Charlie take the field.
In between plays, when the cheerleaders rouse the crowd with their theater
and pomp, we swap stories about the boys. His name is David,
just like my dad, and he comes to every game wearing jeans and a windbreaker,
stays until the clock runs out. I admire his consistency, the way he looks me in the eye,
how he doesn't flinch at the circumstances that brought us here on a Monday night,
his son sidelined from a marriage and starting over at the age of 44, the woman he
welcomed as a daughter now sharing her life with me. I thought kids were the most resilient,
but David proves me wrong. When the game is over, we rise and stretch, shake hands
before we leave for separate cars. "Thanks for being here," I say, and I know he understands.