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Showing posts from June, 2011

Blowin' in the Wind

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So it was like this: the camera caught us both unawares. I look wary, you harassed.  We were on a trip to San Francisco – I remember that much. How old would I have been? Six, seven? Something like that. You, mid-thirty-something, just as handsome as I recall, though this particular shot misses the Frank Sinatra, flirty-eyed charm. 

I had to dig through albums filled with thousands of incarnations of myself, my kids, extended family, friends still alive and some now dead, European vacations, graduations, cats, dogs, home remodeling projects to find this photo – just about the only one taken of the two of us together when I was a girl.
It wasn’t that you weren’t around. I wasn’t an abandoned daughter, nor an abused one. Just more invisible to you than I would have wished, especially given how much I adored you. Those were days before therapy was as common as a cold virus, before men dropped down from their high horses and diapered their babies, before daddies knew how much their attent…

Birds of a Feather, Part 2

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I didn’t know why I felt a special affinity for the gardener who tended the house at the end of my block, and I didn’t know why he showed a particular warmth toward me. But once a week, we engaged in our own ritual shorthand for “How’s it going? I’m so happy to see you.” I’d approach at what I tried to convince myself was the requisite, cardio-beneficial “brisk pace.” He’d look up from his mower, squinting at the smoke rising from the cigarette he had clamped, Bogie-like, at the corner of his mouth. He’d inevitably shoot me a second look, as if he couldn’t believe he was seeing me again, though I walked the same route virtually every day. Our shy laughter would lead to a mutual grin-fest that, at least on my end, lasted long after I turned the corner. Sometimes, he’d get talky and shout out in a thick accent, “Nice day,” bowing his head as elegantly as an emperor. I’d incline my own head, politely ignoring the growling mower by his side spitting gasoline fumes. Here we were, two stran…