Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Discerning Eye (Continued)

Hurriedly I gulp Excedrin and Xanax, inhale sumatriptan. Nausea comes in threatening waves, which I meet with careful sips of Coke. For an awful twenty minutes or so I sit very still at the kitchen table, waiting to see which direction the headache will take. Then the meds do their blessed work and the worst of the symptoms abate. The imminent threat of vomiting passes. Apropos of nothing, a stray memory surfaces, a summer morning from adolescence. Emily and I were drinking coffee in the kitchen. Em wore a bikini top and shorts, her hair breathtakingly white blond against her tanned skin. Papa came in to make himself some tea. "Where are your schoolbooks?" He asked. "Why are you not going to school?"

"It's summer, Papa."

"There is no spring term here in America?"

Emily pulled a disgusted face. "Not in August," She said scornfully.

"Ah," Papa said. "so it is August." He resumed preparing his tea, carefully pouring hot water into the thick glass kept expressly for that purpose. He plucked a sugar cube from the sugar bowl with a tiny set of sterling tongs. I watched him making his tea in a room splashed with the sunlight of California high summer and understood something was terribly the matter. I was fourteen years old.

Continued

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