Saturday, April 25, 2009


My father stretched out on his back in satisfaction. It was the weekend so he was home. This time everyone had gone on this walk. We had driven somewhere – my father driving, wearing “black glasses” – that’s what he called them, and I still think of the word “sunglasses” as an unnecessarily fancy word that other people use.

My father drives, his thick fingers on the steering wheel, his arm out the open window, rapping his gold wedding band on the metal roof of the car in time with the song he is singing, a Hungarian song that I sing along with. I know the tunes and the strings of syllables that go with them. We sing loud and look out straight ahead at the road.

My mother sings too though more softly and she looks out the side window. She is dressed in brown colors, smaller than my father.

My and my little sister are in the backseat. She is doing something. I don’t pay attention. I lean forward a little, between the two front seats, singing.

My mother points and says how the dirt in Virginia is red. She likes this the way she liked that the boards in our New York house were wide and therefore old. The dirt she points to doesn’t look red to me. It looks rusty brown. Red is the color of my new ski jacket.

We walk uphill through woods. At the top we stop. My parents point at all the hills and woods spread out in the front of us. This when my father lies down on the smooth rock, propped up so he can keep looking, his suit jacket around his shoulders like a cape. My mother says, “Look at the view!” in the same way she talks about the red dirt.

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