W.B. Yeats wrote the above poetry quote. Yesterday my oldest son, who I haven't seen or heard from since 2007, turned 30.
I was at the usual spot at noon on his birthday, The Lost Dog Cafe in Westover, for lunch. As always, the empty chair showed up.
I ate a Rin Tin Tin personal pizza pie, leaving a slice, with a symbolic bite out of it, and drank most of my draft, then took a symbolic swallow out of Jimmy's, excuse me, Jim's, paid and left. The pie and libation were good, the company was nonexistent.
Two years ago I encountered his mother on a public street and asked her if Jim was alive, well, married, had children, and where he lived. Stony silence was her answer to these five indispensable questions any parent must know about their child, but this year I discovered her Twitter account and saw that she had invited him to address her first grade classroom last June on "Heroes Day," so as of eight months ago at least he was alive.