The stumble I don’t recall, only the image of the tall, lean nanny named Jean standing at the top of the basement staircase looking down at me, unmoved by my cries, navigates the hippocampus.
Recently, I reflected on my birth order and whether I fit the associated stereotypes. I am the baby of the bunch: my dad, a young widower nearly ten years my mother’s junior, had two beautiful girls (eight and nine years my senior) when he met and married my mom. My mother had given birth toContinue reading “Shard in the Eye”
I stood out back, with an orange can of kerosene in my right hand, looking at the overgrown grass, hanging tree limbs, and corroding nails through the roof shingle lying at my feet. All times when walking in the yard I was careful; the fallen shake multiplied daily and soon the roof underlayment would be viewable from the street. Snow covered the descended pieces in winter and in autumn they were concealed by leaves. Those were cozier times; I could light a fire. The chimney smoke distracted from the balding roof, deciduous trees and autumn leaves peppering the ground; the celebration of fall transformed my signifying dilapidation into beauty. On summer days the yard was dry enough to discreetly pick the bits up after a day’s work, though it was the type of neighborhood open drapes display the booty of wealth-commitment; earlier in the day someone may have already had a peak.
Humility breeds optimism, so we had assurance in loads. Still, it pained me to go. The heartland, like the heart, is sick and deceitful; it cannot be trusted. The heart is what kept us in Wichita for two long years and had I continued to follow it, the girls and I would still be some fifteen hundred miles behind, away from the world’s best city.