A few days ago I had lunch at noon at the Lost Dog Cafe, hoping my oldest son would show up on his birthday and join me. He didn't, the last time I had any contact with him whatsoever was over six years ago on the phone.
His Mother refuses to give me his address or even tell me if he is well, so every holiday for years I have gone at noon to the same restaurant after inviting him on the Internet to join me. This time I brought along a book that my parents gave to me long ago when I was a child, to give to him if he came.
The solitary lunch over, with a heavy heart I picked up the book I had read over half a century ago and, because the tabletop where I had laid it was sticky, the tattered book cover tore in half as I lifted the hardback. I was shocked at the complete rending of the old book covering.
It symbolized to me the complete break I've had in my life from my children due to my ex-wife's unbelievable manipulations of the then-minors during the our divorce. When I got home I slipped the book, its worn cover hanging in two pieces, into Jimmy's box in the basement, sad that I would henceforth never go to the restaurant on his birthday again.