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
This is the summer our dog dies. She was the dog you had been waiting for, the one you encouraged me to wait for when I insisted instead on a quick fix. You found her in a field, abandoned. A show-quality mastiff who had been bred and dumped (or perhaps ran away, escaped a fate … Continue reading 4
You work all night, and you sleep all day, and I hardly ever see you. I have only a handful of photographs of you from this entire year, all of them taken on a winter's trip to see my sister. This picture of my nephew with you, in your signature hat and coat, on my … Continue reading 5