God the Father, God my Father
I wasn’t sure if I had ever been baptized. When I was a child I went to catholic school for the discipline, and it all sort of stuck. When I would jump into the swimming hole in the Susquehanna, by the old train bridge in Fairview, I used to have this thought that I was being depurated for my sins. I walked up and got the wafer ever since.
It had to have been the hottest day in July, and the raw skin around my heel started to peel when I tried to softly roll the sock down my foot. It was the first time in twenty-two days I had my shoes off. I had finally stopped walking aimlessly around this city, not that I even remembered much of what had happened over the course of the past few weeks or where I went, except I vaguely remember a day where I rode with my dad to the recruiting office. They wouldn’t take me, and I can’t remember what they said, just the long quiet ride back across the river in my dad’s truck. I didn’t know what to say when he asked where I wanted dropped off.
“The next light.” I replied.
There was almost this urge to just jump and roll out of the car. My dad pulled over in the parking lot of a Weis market. He slammed the bottom part of his fist on the steering wheel so hard the dashboard shook. I had been in plenty of scuffles growing up and still to this day I have never taken a hit as hard as my fathers.
I got out of the car bleeding from my lower lip and a lump on my head. I began to walk the six miles to that rusty bridge of steel. Forged by the fists of fathers like my dad. My feet were still cracked and the air was still hot. I had to be baptized again.
Photograph and text by Parker Reinecker