Just a man.

November 25, 2011 § 6 Comments

The explanation given by the nuns was complicated.

God manifested in three forms: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

God the creator made us. God the son became man. God the Holy Ghost was the enlightening communicator. Together they were the Blessed Trinity–or, as we irreverently liked to chant: “Three! Three! Three gods in one!”

We sometimes wondered if, as public school kids, we were getting the complete explanation. We knew we were not favored like the parochial school children at whose desks we sat for catechism class. Weren’t we instructed firmly each week to touch nothing in the desks of those holy children? The nuns had to be withholding something.

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Why old people sit.

November 18, 2011 § 10 Comments

My grandfather, Nonno

Memory, that’s why.

The old are heavy with it. Saturated like a sponge that can absorb no more.

“Remember hearing Pearl Harbor had been bombed? We’d just turned on the Philco…”

Those who nod are sitting too. Hands quiet in their laps, they add details to a story every one of them knows by heart, polishing it in the retelling, passing it from hand to hand.

“Remember the time we went on vacation and someone left a Hudson River Shad in our unplugged refrigerator?”

The fact this mystery was never solved only enhances it in memory. Who did leave that Shad, the stink of which persisted for a good month? No one ever confessed.

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The slows.

November 9, 2011 § 13 Comments

You remember the tactic.

Your parents ordered you to do something you didn’t want to do. You couldn’t say no, you weren’t in charge.

But you could do the job you didn’t want to do…very…very…slowly. And they couldn’t pulverize you because you were, after all, doing the job.

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November 3, 2011 § 8 Comments

Summer seemed endless.

Hot and dry.

We felt it in this house cooled only by fans and the determined belief that, “It isn’t that bad. We’ve been hotter.”

Truth is, each summer seems to be the hottest ever, but we tough it out. Having left the shore of spring, we spend an eternity in the doldrums of summer, yearning for a cooler season to appear on the horizon.

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