Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ravage of Winter, Gently into Spring

It’s taken years to correct his wrongs, and every penny in the accounts of Hefwitters Manufacturing Company to pay for those transgressions. The sickness and disease were overwhelming at first, I was stunned by how many were affected by the toxic materials my father used in the making of his wares. There was no possibility of fairness in my deeds, I did the best I could with what was available. I'd hoped to not bankrupt the company in the process of making a few tattered lives whole, but those who lost their jobs by my actions are still better off than those who lost their families to cancers and lung ailments. For everyone I had to lay off there were two without fathers or mothers, whose only hope for a future rested on my too late benevolence, my father's entire liquid estate doled out like penny candy on All Hallow's Eve.

I've tried to find comfort in the fact that it was he and not I that committed the atrocity of indifference, who let people die at his feet in order to own yet another classic car, or tour one more glacier by sea. But I find no comfort in my ignorance, nor in my youth. I am a third generation Hefwitter, and for that, guilty by proxy.

I find it interesting that not only do I not miss my flesh and blood, my inadvertent creator... but I despise him and all he stood for. I hate my father; hated him from birth and I'm sure I will hate him upon my deathbed. His only worth has been expended into the hands of the very people he thought animals; the impoverished and illiterate that he enticed into unending servitude at the controls of his carcinogen belching machinery.

I'd tried to find a proper symbol to identify his excess, to mark his gravesite with a sign of his incarnate gluttony. But early on I decided a cynic's statuary would only insult those people he maimed; making fun of him in that way would only foster ill will and this town has seen enough ill will for a thousand generations.

And then it struck me. My father hated springtime. Its entire imagery drove him quite mad; starting fresh, another chance at the brass ring, the end of winter's maudlin cold and the start of life's brilliance.

Therefore I, Jack Hefwitter, hereby gift the entire Hefwitter estate, its home, outbuildings and this very chapel and family crypt, to the sovereign village of Salmon Vale; to be used as a park and interpretive center for so long as the townspeople vote to keep it so. I offer this freely and without reservation save one caveat; that the entire property be planted with jonquils and squill. That each spring the grounds light up in the sweet pastels of early buttercups, reminding all who draw near that no matter how dark the past, life begins anew, always beautiful, always pure, always ours to do with what we choose.

Ok honey let's go, I'm done here. This oughta have the old man spinning in his grave for eternity.

1 comment: