Last year on this night i felt it coming on. The sickness that both the boyos had suffered through the previous week. The illness i was forced to clean up after even though my father was facing major surgery the day before Valentine's Day. An illness i could ill afford to get yet got just two days before i was supposed to spend then night at my father's place on the eve of his surgery. To have what i now realized was that one last conversation between a father and his son on the eve of what we knew was a long shot at best. I understand now i lost that night due to pure selfishness, that any semblance of compassion or caring had long since evaporated into the air. Years before when the situation had been reversed i did what my father had taught me, i was selfless and did what was asked of me with no questions or conditions. I wouldn't change that. I wouldn't say i'm angry, i wouldn't say i hold a grudge against the person who perpetrated these acts. What i will say is that there is a certain melancholy, a sadness, that seeps in when i think about not being able to stay at my dad's place the night before his surgery. I knew he wanted me there and i know he understood i didn't stay there out of concern for his failing health. We both lost something we couldn't get back. It was the last night he ever spent there. He only returned to that place once and when he did there is a post called the Silhouette written about it. While i lay curled in a ball willing myself to get better or at least better enough, the person who's lack of caring played a major role in contributing to this situation booked me a hotel room. The correct words for this act were not thank you but fuck you. Had my mind not been swirling and going a thousand miles an hour i'd have said it then. Sometimes i almost say it now. Then of course i remember that this shitty game being played is chess and not checkers and i bite my tongue for the sake of two people and two people only. My mother almost left my father when i was four years old and i understand just how different my life would have been had that happened. I can read all the koans i can handle but sometimes the Zen still crumbles, this is a work in progress, someday i might get there, wherever that may be.