People sometimes find this hard to believe, but I have a hard time expressing myself. I can write well enough, and if you want a quip, a wisecrack, or a smart remark, well, I can give you those a little too easily. But when it comes to saying what I feel, especially about another person, face to face, the words don't come out. Or they do but no one can understand them for the sobs and tears that accompany them.
I don't know why this is, but I've had this problem as long as I can remember. Saying what I mean, emotionally, is difficult to the point of handicap for me.
And then it's Christmas or a birthday or Father's Day and I can't get the words out and I won't write them down. So I do what any good 'Merican does: I buy things. I look for presents that the people in my life would really like but probably have no idea exist; I look for things that will make them happy if only for a few minutes. I look for things with meaning, either to myself or to them, perferably to both of us. I look for things that express the consideration and regard I have for them and which I seem to be unable to say.
This Father's Day, I got my dad, who's a veteran, a collection of comics put out by the wonderful Fantagraphics Press. The collection is a two volume edition of all the Willy & Joe comics published in newspapers during World War II, by Bill Mauldin.
Dad loved it. And I hope he understands that by giving it to him, I really mean that I love him too.