Sometimes I think back to the crazy that I pulled some truly wonderful people into, and it's hard to believe that: 1. my life was actually that out of control, and 2. that I was that cavalier about inviting others along for the ride.
March 2, 2001
We don’t exactly have a plan, but we head for a strip of motels
on Route 7 in Falls Church. This was where my dad was last time, and since he
didn’t take the car, it seems likely that he could be there. And we need to feel like we are doing
We have only been together a month, and here he is, driving me around to find my dad.
My brother calls almost immediately and says, “There was a
charge on the card at 4:15.” He gives me the name and address of a motel in
Falls Church. We are very close.
We pull up right out front, and I jump out. The reception
desk is just inside the front door, and Ben joins me just as I am telling a
now-terrified young woman that I know my dad checked in at 4:15 because there
is a charge on his credit card. He is going to try to kill himself, and I need
the key to his room.
People never quite know what to do with this information.
She is flustered, and her hands shake as she picks up a
sheet of paper. Everything is happening too slowly and I am considering walking
behind the desk and taking over when a very large police officer comes in and
asks for the same information. She gives us the room number and is fumbling to
find another key. She is on the verge of tears.
Ben, the police officer, and I take the elevator up one
floor. The doors open and we walk very fast, so although Ben is moving as
fast as he can on crutches, he lags behind. We get to Dad’s door, and the officer pounds
and booms, "Open up!" I put a hand up to hold him back. “Please,” I
I knock and say, “Daddy? Daddy, it’s me! Can you open the
At this point a clearly inebriated guy in the next room has
stepped out into the hall to see what’s going on, and our giant officer orders
him back into his room. He complies without hesitation.
Dad opens the door, wearing nothing but a white undershirt
He says, “Hi, sweetheart!” It is clear that he is seriously
By now Ben has gotten to the door, and I say, “Dad, this is
Ben. Ben, this is my dad.” Ben holds out his hand and says, “Nice to meet you,
Dad shakes his hand warmly and invites us in. “Come on in,
kids! Would you like something to drink?”