My father was an Oscar William Jr. I came very close to being named Oscar William III. Imagine that. Oscar William the Third has a regal ring to it, right? But the surname was never to be: Dad didn’t want his son to have a moniker whose name, ending in “Third” rhymed with … well — by golly, you get the idea.
A while back I introduced you to Oscar the Blue Heron, a resident grouch with whom I share a mutual respect. Very skittish and prone to taking flight at the slightest provocation, Oscar and I have learned to tolerate each other’s presence over the years. When our schedules don’t overlap, Oscar sits on the end of my dock waiting for hapless bait fish to swim by. He was apparently sitting there for quite a while during my recent visit to see Mom!
The end of my dock is one of my most favorite places in the world. A place to watch the clouds. A place to unwind. A place to commune with nature and — like Oscar — fish for my dinner. A place to contemplate my infinitesimally unimportant place in the universe. A place to take off one’s slippers and sniff the roses. An unsullied place with a shared and implicit air of sacrosanctity surrounding it like a shroud.
Boy, was I wrong.
I like to think Oscar was upset that I left him alone, that he missed my companionship and terse conversations, that he was anxious that my place to sit had remained empty for too long. That he was — worried. But when I returned home from my visit to see Mom, I was reminded that Oscar the Heron might have felt otherwise about his abandonment. Perhaps, Oscar the Heron was — just plain angry!
Perhaps … Dad was right after all.