Fathers teach important lessons.

The respirator that had continually wheezed for so many months creaked into silence. It was punctuated by the sound of the heart monitor running flat. A drove of nurses rushed in, followed by the doctor, attempting to do what they could to resuscitate his dying body. I could tell it was only half-hearted.

Afterwards, as they pulled up the sheets to cover his death mask, it struck me that I had never seen him cry. Not even during these last few months, when the pain must have been so great and the growing awareness of his fate must have set in. He was always resolutely stoic and coldly concrete to the very end, as was expected of him. Even as the song of death’s fiddle had come calling. I felt empty.

When the nurse rested her hand on my shoulder and asked me if I was alright, I looked up and paused before responding, for what must have seemed like a long time. Then, with a straight face, I said, “Yeah”.

The sky outside was colored like television static. 

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Problem Child offers an alternative medium for publication of poetry, prose, artwork, essays, and other creative media by semi-annually publishing the Problem Child Literary Magazine. Problem Child aims to publish and promote individual original thought by creating and hosting a creative community.