To an outside observer, it might appear that my father approached death the same way he did life: With a heavy hand and a critical gaze. It may seem like his pride and stubbornness made something difficult — dying — harder than it already was.
Posts Tagged: fathers
Dads are a funny thing. So many of us have strained relationships with them....more
When she becomes pregnant while grieving her newly dead father, Amy Monticello rejects the comforting notions she’s offered about completing the cycle of life....more
They don’t usually realize that every line, every word of a poem, is there because the poet consciously chose that word instead of some other one....more
Complete strangers often ask me how I got my name. They think this is an acceptable question. But for me, for the longest time, it was like being asked to tell the origin story of a scar....more
During the last handful of years of his life my father became one of those unruly cool dads, perhaps exceptionally unruly. My sister and I had no curfews and he would congratulate us when we regaled him with stories of crazy nights out.
My cousin and I are in matching dresses with purple buttons, lavender yarn in our braids. Our mothers take us to Sears Portrait Studio, where we sit together in front of a marbled blue sky. I’m into it, all of it....more
The day my father died was the day I started falling in love....more
Saul Bellow’s 1978 story “A Silver Dish“ has been has been re-released over at the New Yorker. The piece follows Woody Seblst, a successful businessman, before abandoning its conventional plot structure entirely; Bellow’s prose seeps into the Great Depression, the rise of gateway psychedelics, and Woody’s bleeding relationship with a “dying and picturesque father”:
There were Woody’s two sisters as well, unmarried, in their fifties, very Christian, very straight, still living with Mama in an entirely Christian bungalow.
In Japanese martial arts, the uke is the ‘receiver’ of the technique, the one who attempts to attack their sparring partner, the tori. The tori defends against the attack of the uke, who usually winds up on the floor after getting flipped, swept, thrown, punched, or kicked....more
For reasons I’ll never understand, I am my father’s rooster. My life is filled with farmers. We find our farmers where our interests are, I guess....more
It seemed like nature might be offering up something fraught with emotion, a beautiful image that a writer could imbue with heartbreaking symbolism. But I couldn’t come up with anything. It was just fall, and so the leaves were red....more
My daughter likes to bang her head off the floor. It makes a point—an especially guilt-tinged one, given that we had to get rid of our carpets due to a mold infestation, so now there’s no cushion between baby cranium and wood....more
I’m sitting across from the man who looks exactly like my father would look if my father had lived to be fifty-seven. If my father hadn’t died sixteen years ago when I was thirteen. But he did....more
What follows is a love letter to my twenty-six-year-old brother Eric, written shortly after he overdosed on heroin. He survived....more
Having a child carves you out. Stories like this line the walls inside, and keep you up wondering why, how, what the fuck is exactly happening here?...more
The headaches, my difficulty focusing, my specimen-daze, that floating island, my spastic, nervous heart—which are side effects from drinking, and which were inevitable?...more
Guns formed me—there’s no denying it. They worked on my body, bruising it in all the right places. Recoil and report learned they couldn’t scare me off. Each weapon wrote angry truth on me....more
“Eli. The gun is in my bedroom. There are bullets in there, too. I don’t need to worry about you guys, do I?”...more
Talking to your kid can be as nerve-wracking as going in for a big job interview. And it’s also like interviewing a temperamental actor or rock star—you’re afraid if you ask the wrong thing, they’ll tear off their lapel mic and say, “This interview is over!”...more
I could be worse. That’s one of my father’s favorite sayings....more