I had a visceral memory the other day. I remembered sitting on the arm of an armchair looking over my father’s shoulder as he read a story to me and I was stroking my father’s stubble. My father was clean shaven for most of his life and at the end of the day his stubble was like sandpaper.
It made me think of a similar situation from years ago when my young daughter was sitting with me as I read to her and she stroked my stubble and said very dreamily… “all the splinters from long ago!”
My dad’s knee made a clicking sound when he climbed stairs. It was from a war injury when his plane crashed near Tufino in British Columbia. He also had a small bump on his shoulder from the same accident. He never talked about the accident or ”the war” either, unless prompted.
I could tell my dad’s mood from how quickly he climbed the stairs from the speed and intensity of the clicks in his knee. His feet didn’t make a sound as the stairs were covered in carpet. If I was “awaiting the wrath of Dad” as in…”wait till your father gets home”…. the clicks had an intensity different from end of the day trudging Willie Loman.
I am from a tradition where spankings were in order if a child transgressed. It was not referred to as a “spanking”, but a “licking”, as in “you’re asking for a licking”. I don’t remember at what age the spankings stopped, but it was certainly before I was ten years old. It’s not that I stopped transgressing at ten, or that dad gave up on me, they just didn’t seem to be working on this hard-headed punk.
Pause for thought
A funny thought occurred to me the other day while standing at a urinal in Chapters Book store. I wondered if the slit in the front of my underwear was biased for right handers.
I am left handed and usually just pull the top down and under. For some reason I used the fly on this occasion. I looked it up on Google and lo and behold, I am not the only lefty that pulls the underwear down rather than use the fly…. The design is meant for rightys as is the zipper on pants. The stuff one learns…..