With a magic mirror, I'd travel back in time and sneak into his room fifty years ago to watch him closely. I'd see what familiar signs, I could recognize. I'd watch him wander through the fields and hear him speak his native tongue. I'd look for his mother and sit with his family during dinner, wondering what conversations I missed and never heard.
I'd follow him to New York and watch him drive a cab. I'd go with him into the Air Force and be an invisible navigator. I'd watch him in his classrooms, unable to back down from a debate. I'd recognize the flamboyant Devietro, a classmate he told me about with ruffles and dainty embellishments.
I'd glance at him carefully pull a newly purchased jazz album out of its cover and set it down for the first time on his record player.
I would flash forward to the day his first son was born and watch those furrowed brows closely to see if I could understand how he felt the moment he became a father for the first time. After his second son was born, I'd sit there invisibly watching him gaze at his two sons play together (the youngest one, a bully) and think of what dreams he might have lingering in his head at that moment.
If I could rewind time to watch the life of the man with furrowed brows, I could wage the gap of thirty years between my father and I. It's hard to imagine their lives before us because we are so defined by them being our parents.
But today, on this day, in this quiet moment...
I think of the boy, teenager, and young man who became my father.