Learning The Hard Way
Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
We can see, if we care to look, that the way we treat children — all of them, not just our own, and especially those in great need — defines the shape of the world we’ll wake up in tomorrow.
The roots of a child’s ability to cope and thrive, regardless of circumstance, lie in that child’s having had at least a small, safe place (an apartment? a room? a lap?) in which, in the companionship of a loving person, that child could discover that he or she was lovable and capable of loving in return.
All In The Family
Faith Friedlander On Adoption And Parenthood
Not every adopted adult needs the same thing, but I do think most adoptees, at some point in their lives, will want to look into their past. And someone in their birth family might come searching for them. With the Internet and readily available DNA tests, it’s not so easy to hide anymore.
A Private Thing
People laugh about pubescent horniness and untimely erections, but nobody talks about getting them before puberty on a regular basis. I was aroused whenever nothing was demanded of my limbs or mind — in class, at church, on the bus, in the car. Once, I even got hard at football practice while staring off at the Catskill Mountains and half-assing my way through groin stretches.
The Thistle Steps
I have recently made a new enemy. She is a black, curly-haired cocker spaniel walking a man holding a leash. We pass each other sometimes on the steep, narrow public stairs called the Thistle Steps. . . . I could try talking to the man, but I’m never wearing my hearing aids when we meet, so I wouldn’t be able to hear his reply.
Their Last Argument
I picture my father, dead a dozen years now, reaching from the great beyond to tap me on the shoulder. “What do you want, Pa?” I ask. “Look,” he says. “I’ve been practicing my moonwalk.”
In the motel’s retro, kidney-shaped, outdoor pool, thirty minutes till close, no lifeguard on duty, Harry Snow swims his first submerged lap, his long-lost special ability.
We’d been divorced for almost six years when my ex-wife called and asked if I’d like to live in the bottom apartment of her duplex. I had been moving from place to place, exhausting welcome after welcome, until I’d wound up at my parents’ house, but even they had had enough of me. Sure, they told me, David had died, and they doubted I would ever get over it, but skulking around their house day in and day out was no cure for grief.
A Thousand Words
A Thousand Words features photography so rich with narrative that it tells a story all on its own.
You can prepare for some things. / Others fall on you like / meteors ripping open the sky.