(The cats must have lived just fine, separately, while I was gone.)
God's Dad didn't hover because he didn't really care. But once, he said, what is that. What is that supposed to be??
The son sat hunched on a piece of graph paper, whose adornment was a Twomblyesque starbuck that were it any other occasion, it could be identified like that, and just that.
How's that supposed to work?
The son bunched irritably at the shoulders, as if about to rote recite Latin for an ignorant parent who might know he hadn't studied, but all the same couldn't read Ovid for himself.
The flower, he said, finally, Dendranthema, pictured being led into the western world, by way of Russia, disguised as forlorn moppets, their faces hidden,
Sun in their hair--and eventually a new world.
But the dad just grumbled. When I first saw one I--and have no other reason but this to remember--caught sight at a roadside stop on the turnpike. I was pretty young. Everybody else was eating or helping with the oil change on the long vacation drive. I went to pick it when it vanished. And with it everything vanished.
We drove across Dauphin County and I could smell the bracing choir of things. I was carried into a local hospital where my parents were eventually told it was just an unexplainable accident, which even then seemed flimsy to take science out while resolving the greater innocence.
In the room where I woke up a pastor from a nearby church had heard, and left me a tiny potted cactus as a gift. And a few comic books slouched in the window sill like an old broom. One, I remember was a Spiderman. While the other followed a superhero who had no face. But it wasn't really that he had no face. It was simply that, in his tact, and plied by his ardor, he made it so that no one could remember him.
The dad said, making a grand connection, Do you remember when you we young--almost too young to remember, I'm afraid, and we sat by the window listening to music. I do. I remember. Ernest Chausson's garden of lilacs? Moonglow, the son said, with the picture eventually taking shape beneath his hand. By Artie Shaw.
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