Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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For all Dad’s skill with wood and tools, his life was sloppily built. Some sorrow whose origins I can’t name led him to consistently misread the ruler. What does a son do with the wreckage of his father’s life forty-six years after his death?
I could feel the losses of my past lurking nearby. Not just animals but other losses, too. They exhaled from the piles like human whispers.
With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
Everything new disappears, within and without. Alzheimer’s disease is eroding her hippocampus. . . . She has what the neurologist calls “rapid forgetting,” so she lives in a state of evanescence; nothing holds.
It was true what Mrs. Berry said: no one expected to see an old woman in a muscle car, a red and black Mustang convertible with a scooped hood and an engine that ran with a throaty hum.
At Woodstock, at a school in Nepal, at an all-ages punk show
I didn’t see my father die, but I know there were no planes, no guns, no crowd of onlookers below. I imagine that, like Kong, he closed his eyes easy.
I didn’t know whether Grandpa knew that I knew. “My dad told me,” I said. “I’m sorry.” Grandpa got misty, then nodded and said, “He’d had enough.” To this day I believe this is the most empathetic way to understand suicide.
In a marriage, in a divorce, on a pilgrimage