Thinking about my son and all he's been through — serious mental illness, homelessness, jail (more than once), and in the last few years, incarceration in prison.
Every time he was jailed or imprisoned, I could be anywhere and I'd end up "seeing him." Each time I "saw" him, I'd stop in my tracks. I'd stare and struggle to get a better view of the young man I was sure was my son. One time, I had to turn my car around and circle the area to get a better view of the young man. A better view of "my son" who couldn't be released without the prison telling me.
I knew he couldn't be released but I turned the car around anyway. I had to. "It might be him. Oh, my God! It looks like him and I recognize that hat (sweater, pants, sneakers, walk — you name it)." I turned the car around in an unfamiliar parking lot — a parking lot with huge potholes. I felt like I was sinking into each big hole, possibly never getting out. "Who cares," I said, because now I was almost positive this was my kid. I was going to find out how he was released from the county jail, or how he made it hundreds of miles from the prison (and I was thinking — having nightmares in the daylight — about those hundreds and hundreds of miles, and the time, the ungodly, long, endless amounts of time).
Am I healing I wonder? Again, I'm passing "my son" on the street, stretching my neck, staring out my passenger side window. He looks up as I slow down. He looks at me like I'm crazy — crazy as I feel. His eyes are unrecognizable. And now I see why. He is not my son and my mind is playing cruel tricks on me.