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The Sun Magazine

Family and Relationships

Parents

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Dark Houses

Gingerly, creeping, my mother drives her “safe” back way home, winding through the subdivisions bordering downtown Orlando, Florida. The little truck doesn’t have air conditioning. I stretch my arm out the window as if I might be able to feel the Spanish moss hanging from the trees like witch hair.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Queen of Hearts

Rule #20: Never bring a book to work. It makes the customers think you’re better than them. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading. It doesn’t matter if you’ve finished cleaning all the glasses and it’s a quiet Monday afternoon — leave the book at home. You’ll know this when your father comes behind the bar looking pissed and tells you to come into his office.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

As If To Say

If I need to ask my father a question, I ask my mother. I’ve always done this, to get around the fact that he and I hardly speak. It’s not that we have nothing to say. We just don’t know how to say it. He doesn’t speak English very well, and I don’t speak Spanish very well, so neither of us is even going to try.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Wayward Daughter

I’m at my father’s bedside, his hand resting in mine. His skin feels thin, but his nails grow thick and long, creeping a half inch beyond the rounded flesh. They’re the only part of him that seems healthy. How can the nails keep growing like this when his heart pumps barely enough blood to keep him alive?