It’s early morning and I’m watching a recording of The Late Late Show on the DVR while I wait for the coffee to finish perking or whatever a modern brewer does to produce coffee. Drip, I guess. Waiting for the coffee to stop dripping. Craig Ferguson and Garrison Keillor are yukking it up and I just caught myself making my father’s face.
My father was self-contained if that’s how you want to put it. He was the Silent Commander type and kept quiet except to criticize or to holler. But once in a while when something amusing was on the TV, you’d look over at him and he’d be grinning like a jack o’lantern.
I say “the” tv because this was back in the day when households had one tv and watching it was a family activity. Even if he wasn’t sitting down for a whole show, the laughter would attract him and he’d stand in the doorway as if under a spell with the widest possible smile, his eyes shining with the reflection of the televised images. In that moment, he was enjoying himself. If anybody spoke even to say <em>oh boy wasn’t that funny? </em>the spell would be broken and he’s put his regular buzzard face on again and leave the room.
Sometimes I do that now. I catch myself with my mouth stretched wide and my eyebrows lifted up. Maybe I’ve always done it but I’m only occasionally aware of it. It’s a solitary exercise.