Sunday, December 9, 2007

How It All Began

There's a reason I dread when the phone rings late at night and there's a reason I freak when my Dad leaves me voice mails that don't end with, "And everything is okay," even after we made a pact that he must always end voicemails with, "And everything is okay."

We made this pact because my Dad NEVER calls me unless it's really, really bad news. Although, lately, he's caught me off guard, sometimes just calling to say "hello." This really throws me... as he has an incredible aversion to even using a telephone to the point that if it is ringing in the house he will walk over to it and pick it up and hang up on whomever is calling.

I can only guess it's because my family has learned that in a day YOUR WORLD CAN BE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN, it might be last time you speak to someone you love, that you can look away for a moment and then the unspeakable can happen.

On the day that I learned David had died, everything was okay. I was sitting in my office on the TV show I was working on and looking over my notes on a script and would it be funnier if she said this or would it be funnier if she said that, when I decided to call home and I knew because my father has an aversion to even picking up the telephone that the fact that he had indeed picked up the telephone that something was very, very wrong.

"What's wrong?" And he told me. And I started not so much immediately crying as howling and wailing and tears were not just streaming but spouting. I know I kept screaming, "What? What?" even though, I knew very much what was what. David had been murdered. The police had found his ID in his pocket and called our home, thinking my Dad was his Dad, thus making it my father's responsibility to call my uncle and tell him that his son had been killed. "Whatttttt?"

I have never had this feeling before. Not through all my father's surgerys, donating my kidney to my dad, my cousin Michael's death when I was fourteen, not even when my younger cousin had cancer when I was sixteen.

The room came up on it's side. The wheelie office chair I was in smashed into my desk. I stood up but the floor beneath me was giving way, tipping more and more on it's side. I was shaking so hard I couldn't keep my balance. There were attempts at calls to bosses and co-workers and assistants and "I have to leave NOWs!" I ran out of the building not even quite sure where I would go.

And the howling wouldn't stop.

I walked by co-workers, writers, production people, costumer designers wheeling their costumes, electricians pushing their cable carts, caterers laying out their morning spreads and I did not care and I did not stop howling. All the way to my car and all the way home.

I got in my bed and thought, "This nightmare is just beginning."