LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Some people add an ice-cube to their coffee to cool it down before they will take a sip. Not me. The steam has stopped rising from my cup. Time to throw out the dregs and pour another one. Despite my insistence that I was switched at birth, it’s clear I am my mother’s daughter. From her nursing home bed, a tiny frail bird, hours from death, “If you can’t bring me a cup of hot coffee, don’t bother bringing one at all.” The disease that took portions of her mind left only the hard edges of her personality, and more questions than answers.

I took a bath after a short treadmill session today, and splashed enthusiastically to rinse off the ginger scented soap. Splash. Splash. My daddy loved tub baths. I never saw him in the tub, of course, but oh, the sounds. Water rushing from the full-out tap in the days before flow control governors were imposed on our homes. Lusty splashing, singing and snorting like some whale blowing air through his spout. Water draining noisily. He emerged finally, smelling of blue Zest and Old Spice, full of smiles and mischief.

God, how I miss that sweet man, gone since I was twelve.

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