Family and Relationships
My family, in particular, was in danger. We were the wrong religion (Presbyterian) for our neighborhood, and my father had a reputation as a Darwinist. To many of our neighbors, Christians and Muslims alike, his belief that humans had evolved from monkeys was blasphemy, and he was careful not to show his face in public.
In 1976, the year we were supposed to be learning the metric system, we fell in love with Katy Muldoon. We were in the sixth grade, and Katy sat at the front of our math class, raising her hand for every question, as though all of the answers to all of the problems were merely floating in front of her eyes.
The first transformer blew in the middle of the night. I opened my eyes to sparks flying over the ice-coated trees like fireworks. I made it to the window first, James close behind me, hopping awkwardly.
This is how it works when times are hard, and even when times are better, if we’re lucky. We women stand on the sidewalk and rest our backs against fences and lean into open car windows to see who needs what. In my twenty-five years living on this block, there have been recessions before, but this one has lasted the longest.
The names are all typed on the coach’s old typewriter which screws up the letter y so it looks more like w so you check again from the top looking for Dowle, Brian and then you check again reading up from the bottom this time just in case some weird thing happened because you wear thick spectacles and the gym door has this thick old shimmery glass and maybe the two densities of glass cancel each other out or something.