One day I’ll lift the telephone and be told my father’s dead. He’s ready. In the sureness of his faith, he talks about the world beyond this world as though his reservations have 5 been made. I think he wants to go, a little bit—a new desire to travel building up, an itch to see fresh worlds. Or older ones. He thinks that when I follow him 10 he’ll wrap me in his arms and laugh, the way he did when I arrived on earth. I do not think he’s right. He’s ready. I am not. I can’t just say good-bye as cheerfully 15 as if he were embarking on a trip to make my later trip go well. I see myself on deck, convinced his ship’s gone down, while he’s convinced I’ll see him standing on the dock 20 and waving, shouting, Welcome back.