This post is part of a series that explores that simple, complicated idea of "home" as I try to reconcile my now-empty nest and conflicting feelings about my hometown. In the 23 years since I came "home" to Memphis (not intending to stay more than six months), I've thought a great deal about the psychological … Continue reading Homebuilding.
The Mockingbird Hunter. That a cat would stand in the way of their divorce was unimaginable. Over a dog they might have fought viciously for custody. But over a cat, and this cat specifically? No. Neither of them was taking that goddammed feline, not for any amount of money or stock or property or apology. … Continue reading Something fictional.
She's a temperamental one, he would say. This isn't exactly what he would say, though. He would use a word that was impolite and sounded unkind, but he never meant it in an unkind way. He would be talking about our their lemon tree (my her lemon tree), which was covered every January in delicate, … Continue reading Something unfinished.
It is our 22nd summer in Memphis. It is time now, in the midst of a global pandemic, racial reckoning, and massive upheaval, to tell the story of our house. But the story of our house, our home, would be void of meaning without the story of how we got here. And so, to start, … Continue reading An ordinary marriage.
We are on the porch eating dinner, one night just a few weeks ago, at the front-tip edge of our 21st summer together. The days are warm and nights still cool. Our kind of weather. I think of this weather as our season. Our son (who drove his truck, your truck, Henry's truck, to school … Continue reading Belonging.
Your truck (Henry's truck), the one you drove to Memphis (an eternity ago), sits on the parking pad behind our house (still with its New Mexico license plates), where it has sat, flat-tired, for a dozen years, neglected. Our son, who used to sit in the bathtub with you making shampoo mohawks and blowing bubbles, … Continue reading 1
These are, you understand, just inflection points, the ones that shape the arc of my plot. Fact: All of these stories are true. Fiction: These stories are the only truth. This summer, two years ago, is our musical summer, capped at the end with Van Morrison on your 50th birthday. Early in the summer we … Continue reading 2
We are very close. Almost to now. This is the summer, three years ago, when I take a month off, cart the kids to the beach and get sunburned. I sign up for a water aerobics class, and you offer, every day, to play Bill Murray and slip a Baby Ruth in the pristine water … Continue reading 3