I remember when I was a kid. I sat on the edge of my father's car, waiting for him come home from his walks. I would go there to think sometimes, puzzling over my day. But today, 18 years later, I sit in silence.
I'm not waiting for anyone.
I'm thinking, though.
About my father. He's dead.
He doesn't go on his daily walks anymore, never will. I climb in the car, embracing his scent, closing my eyes and taking it all in. I live alone, no wife, no children. But they won't meet their grandfather.
I loved him. He...
I remember the smell of wet snow on a blinding morning. Squinting through glare and steam. Battleship twigs wobble in a frozen puddle. The neighbor's bell-bottoms dark blue to the knees. She sank in a soft mountain of snow, but extracted herself with the confident strength of the Bionic Woman.
The crows were flying silhouettes, Japanese ink on a rice paper landscape. The country was preparing for our spectacle. There would be battleships in the harbor, fireworks from the torch, old songs that would not die.
But on this day, in the insulation of a winter morning, we weren't thinking...
The winter of 1970 in the Bay Area was not something I ever expected to experience- especially since I was born in 1990. My folks scolded me every night for sneaking into the backyard whenever there was a full moon. It wasn't my fault: grandpa planted the story about the time-well in my head and it sprouted into a maddening obsession.
My hair was now curly instead of wavy and my hands reverted into the pudgy state of toddlerhood. Who was I, in this time, and why was I only a spectator? My new parents talked about the lunar landing...
Bobby had lived in his imagination as a child. Within the universe of his mind, he was an action hero, an iron-willed daredevil. He could meet any challenge, snatch victory from the jaws of any defeat, bravely pull off any stunt.
Now that he was older, he was learning more and more that he would probably never trade tracer bullets with South American guerillas, or infiltrate the secret Appalachian hideout of a band of communist child kidnappers, or balance on the hood of a car, guns blazing, while pursuing Somalian bank thief pirates across a perilous frozen lake.