Saturday, December 13, 2008


Still hurting from the staples and surgery, which makes sitting at a desk and writing at my amazing and perfect iMac very difficult - especially after sitting at a desk at work, hunched over, staples pinching into my lower intestine, spilling coffee all over my self, brushing my teeth with fresh spinach dip, trying not to look like a rabid dog, crowing like a rooster, running with the devil, trying to help little kids win law suits against candy distributors; I mean it gets a little tough after a certain amount of time. This makes me sigh in awe and wonder how such amazing humanitarians like Donald Trump, Michael Jordan, Cher, the Headless Horseman and Ghandi could do it every day and teach the world a little lesson about the world and the burning compassion of the soul.

Just kidding, only two of those people had souls.

(One one was Indian and the other was black.)

See the next excerpt of From Here to the Next Mound of Dirt and forget what you've read above.


“Hey, Dad,” I say as I walk into the study. This was my favorite room of the house. It has the nice big skylight above the desk and I love the slanted wood walls, which are the color of caramel. I love it so much because it will always remind me more than anything else of being a kid. The mystery of the room, with bookshelves on three of the walls and Dad would come in here for privacy and you always wanted to know what he was doing in there.

“Daddy’s working,” Mom would say. But of course I didn’t believe her. Dad is sitting on his favorite chair with his feet kicked up on the ottoman and of course there is the bottle sitting on his lap, tilting forward onto his chest.

“Hello, Margaret,” Dad says.

“Oh, we’re being formal tonight,” I quip back and I’m very pleased by it. Dad is too because he gives one of his high-pitched laughs that he gives when he is caught off guard.

“You’ve gotten funny in your young age.”

“I’ve been trying to, Dad.”

We’re both quiet and looking around the room. Dad’s breathing is steady and as his chest rises and falls, I can hear the sloshing of his scotch in the bottle.

“How’re you doing?” I ask.

“I’m almost drunk,” he says and smiles. “Thirty years on and it’s the same as it was.”

“Except mom’s…”

“I’m talking liquor, Mags.”

I nod at him. I feel a little embarrassed about trying to point that out to him. I get up and walk over to the parchment colored globe that stands right in front of one of the bookshelves. I begin spinning the Earth on a completely impossible axis at an impossibly slow rate. But it’s my axis and it’s my rate.

“I bet you’ve been to almost half of the places on that globe.” Dad winks. “Imagine where you’ll be when you’re my age.”

“Hopefully at a little over fifty percent and living in a suburb.”

“Are you that smart?”

“I always thought I was.”

Dad laughs. “Well, then you’re not my daughter.”

I stop the globe with my hand. The tips of my fingers are touching China and Korea. I begin to cry. I don’t know why I’m crying and I can’t remember the last time I did. My face feels too hot. I didn’t even cry when Jake left the note for me in our apartment and then I noticed how big it was and that it really was meant for two and not as small as I thought.

Dad takes a drink. “I was only joking. You are my daughter.”

His arms are spread out. I walk over and he props himself up. I sit on his knee and he hugs me. I didn’t notice his stubble before, but now I can feel it. His hands stroke my hair.

“I haven’t seen hair this beautiful since your mother was twenty-two years old.”

“You like it?”

“How can I not? There’s so much to.”

“Yeah,” I say. “You’re right.” And now I’m speaking to so many things in the world that I’ve seen that I can’t even concentrate on crying. So I realize I’ve stopped and that I’m on my father’s knee. And for the first time in what seems like forever, I feel like a girl and not like a woman.

No comments:

Post a Comment