Think of this as a short prelude, a transition between where we've been (for the past 73 days, anyway, for anyone counting along) and where things are going next. Here’s the scene: It’s fall break, my freshman year of college. My mother has flown from Memphis to meet me in New York, where we are … Continue reading Long haul.
This is a pandemic story, though it won't be clearly so until the end. It's an old story, rooted in distant places, long ago. We'll start here: The first time I cooked for other people I was in college. A friend invited several of us to her family's house in Vermont for a Presidents' Day … Continue reading Midnight cooking.
The first kitchen I remember is the one on Agnes Place, the house, built in 1912, where we lived from my toddler years until I started first grade. I remember five very specific things about this kitchen. The first memory is visual: The window above the sink looked out onto the back yard, where we … Continue reading The solace of my mother’s kitchen: Part 1
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