Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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Karl Taro Greenfeld’s latest book, Boy Alone: A Brother’s Memoir, about his autistic younger brother Noah, is due out in paperback from HarperPerennial this month and was a Washington Post Best Book of 2009. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the Paris Review, American Short Fiction, Commentary, Southern Review, and Best American Short Stories 2009 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). He recently moved to Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters to help care for his brother.
We went deeper into the ocean, cold water wrapping us, white foam clinging to our skin. I carried your soft, floppy body, your sweaty cheek resting against my shoulder, your right eye — the good one — wide and staring up at my face. I felt my way along the sandy bottom, trying to step lightly where there were stones, until finally, struggling with your weight, I began to kick so that we were both floating, heads bobbing above the waterline, beyond the waves to where the water grayed and frigid sea pulled at us.