On June 8, 1997, my father, Martin Stanley Matishak, died in his sleep from a heart attack. He was 64 years old.
I was 16 and he passed away the day before the final day as a junior at Lockport Township High School. Needless to say, I did not attend class the next day and subsequently missed several of my final exams. I would make up the tests several weeks later, to universally disastrous results. Oh, well.
What most folks don’t know is that in the fall of 2001, shortly after I started at Emerson College, I wrote a short story, or essay, about the day my father died. I had just been introduced to David Sedaris by my cousin Kara, who thought I had a writing voice similar to the wildly talented author, and believed I might have a future in publishing.
I spent months slaving over the manuscript. In the end, I produced a 20-page story. I shared it with a few select members of my family and Emerson classmates, most of whom said it was overwritten.
I haven’t looked at the essay in years. Maybe I’ll dust it off sometime and share it on this web site.