Memories of JJ, 4 — Resemblance

I look a lot like my dad. Every­one tells me that. (At the care home, on the day before he died, one of the admin­is­tra­tors, meet­ing me for the first time, said, “Yeah, you look like him.” With the gal­lows humour I also inher­it­ed from dad, I thought (but didn’t say) Hope­ful­ly you mean before, because I scarce­ly rec­og­nized him any­more.)

I sound like him, too, and have pret­ty much since my voice quit crack­ing after puber­ty. More than once, when I lived at home (or, lat­er, was vis­it­ing), I’d answer the phone and have some­one call me JJ and ask me if I’d like to go for cof­fee, or if I could grant an exten­sion on a com­put­er sci­ence assign­ment*, or some­thing like that. It always seemed to throw the caller for a loop when I’d say “Uh, hang on,” and give Dad the receiv­er.

The oth­er day, I was wash­ing my hands in the bath­room sink, and I hap­pened to look up at my reflec­tion. Some­thing about the set of my mouth—a lit­tle wry smirk—and the stub­ble of a week’s worth of not shav­ing, com­bined with my eyes under, let’s face it, shag­gy old-man eye­brows, real­ly looked a lot like he used to. Back when he was my dad, not a lost stranger liv­ing in the care home.

I look like him. I sound like him. I car­ry on.

* That only hap­pened once, I think. As tempt­ed as I was to mess with the caller, I hand­ed the phone over to Dad.


My dad passed away recent­ly. I’m going to be post­ing lit­tle mem­o­ries of him for the next lit­tle while. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Posted in JJ.