Let’s dip into a couple editor favorites from Father’s Days past. In Hungry to Eat from 2012, David Harris Ebenbach writes of a father figuring out on the fly how to help a grown son with a big hurt that a Band-Aid …
She had changed. Her darling girl carried a lift in her shoulders, a stance she’d mastered overseas, without Margaret’s reminders. It was a posture a mother wished for in a daughter, yet hoped it could be achieved by her influence. Now, when they spoke, Bonnie seemed to hold her mother’s gaze as if challenging Margaret to be the first to look away.
Twilight. The echo of coyotes off the mountains beyond the lake drifts through the cold August air. The sound makes the mile and a half from here to the other side of the water seem like a stone’s throw. I sleep comfortably now, but years ago when John first brought me here, the baying made me shiver. I tried to put it out of my mind, tossing and turning in my sleeping bag, feeling vulnerable with the yelps and howls and moonlight streaming in.
They arrive ten minutes early, which Michelle regrets. She suggests a walk. He runs ahead. She feels as she always does, like a ball of string is unwinding before her, quickly, and she stands affectless for a moment watching. Finally she follows the string forward, believing that if she keeps tugging, the string will remain taut and the tension will save him.
No one shows up to an Indian dinner party on time. Everyone knows to come at least two hours after the stated invitation, but her husband had gotten the odd notion that they would “come early and leave early”. As Mumtaz expected, only the arthritic mother-in-law was there to greet them at the door.
“Jamilla is still upstairs getting ready. Come talk to me, my dear.” She grabs Mumtaz’s elbow with surprising strength and directs her toward the sofas in the women’s parlor. Her husband and children disappear with the host’s teenage sons. They would probably play pool in the Siddiqis’ amply proportioned walk-out basement until the dinner call.
Mumtaz restrains herself from tracing the outline of the flowers on the patterned couch. Instead, she fingers her bead necklace. “Are you sure I can’t help in the kitchen, Aunty?”