Twenty-eight years of marriage and never a cross word. I won’t argue with you, is all she ever said. There is nothing to argue about. You are what you are. The world is the way it is. And so for twenty-eight years we never discussed politics, never talked of war in the Balkans, the genocide in Rwanda, not even the insane increase in the price of her favorite cheese, Papillon Roquefort, now $24.80 a pound.
I remember that I paid him a visit soon after they’d moved in, their first real home together, a house on Sherwood Street. From first impressions the name seemed inappropriate; there were no merry men to be seen, just defeated-looking people returning to the neighbouring terraces at hometime, thin carrier bags swinging from one hand, house keys in the other–a squatter, fatter Lowry painting.
If you can arrange it, the best way to see Barcelona’s piece de resistance, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral, is on a gurney, with someone to push you around inside while you lie on your back to study the heights of its sublime architecture – the tendrils of stone bridging space that any other cathedral architect would have left bare, austere and angular.
Jules, my kid sister, is a million miles away in Bavaria nursing her father figure complex. She lives in snow with Otto, a widower who drives a vintage BMW to Lion’s Club meetings in Munich and Kempten. Jules is playing the cool Euro Babe but she’s really hiding out while trying to force a marriage.
I wasn’t reading it as a student, forced to write some terrible essay about “themes” and “symbolism,” and I wasn’t reading it as an emo high-schooler, desperate for an angsty kid narrator with whom to identify. I was reading Salinger as an adult, a father...
My father, who passed away a couple years ago, smuggled pot, cocaine, and allegedly a boatload of Cuban defectors in the mid-80s.