Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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A job application, sexual history, a former priest
I knew my mother would find out before fall, when I’d leave home to find a real job. I’d watch her at the sink, her roan hair falling down, her round face red from the steaming dishwater, and I’d think about telling her, but it was impossible to open my mouth. I was sure something just under her pale skin would break if I revealed the truth: that my father was having an affair with a woman who looked like a man.
About sexual disease, about adoption, about fidelity
The accumulation of kind, affectionate gestures; black-and-blue finger marks; puppy love
We are not allowed this. We are allowed to be deeply into basketball, or Buddhism, or Star Trek, or jazz, but we are not allowed to be deeply sad. Grief is a thing that we are encouraged to “let go of,” to “move on from,” and we are told specifically how this should be done.
They pulled off the highway and followed the signs for the Thirteen Stars Motel. Besides proclaiming itself to be “American Owned,” the motel promised that its restaurant served “American Food” and that each room was held to “American Standards.” Alastair was thrilled. He’d never met a racist before, and now he was going to. Already he felt a mixture of fascination and compassion, as if he and his father were about to visit the zoo.
Surviving it, being ruled by it, being mistaken about it
Small things. Not a family history of serving in high places in the government, nor owning businesses, nor inherited wealth. All of these your husband has in plenty. At this point in your life, after three years of marriage, the small things have become the basis for your opinion.
The thing Terry hates most about going back to England, even on vacations, is that it’s like coral: a living dead thing. There is sweet nothing to do. Football. Sky television. The cancer of the reminiscence.
A facelift, a name tag that says Allen, an unanswered knock