Where Is My Father?

I wrecked my car a few days after my dad disappeared. I spun out on black ice in Elgin, Illinois, wrapping the car around a utility pole. I had graduated college about six months earlier, and though flat broke I had bought a brand-new Pontiac secured with nothing but a job-acceptance letter. I am by…

Fathers & Ferries, Birthdays & Boats

When my Cub Scout den mate Marc Brownstein turned 9, his birthday party consisted of a ride on the Circle Line, a day cruise around Manhattan. It was the best day ever. I begged for a similar party when I turned 9 the following spring. Dad took a “We’ll see” position. By April, I understood…

Everything’s Gonna Be All Right: 2

“Which parent do you feel closest to?” He was a caricature of a child psychologist: sandy, side-parted hair, large wire-rimmed glasses, dressed like Mr. Rodgers. He spoke with a soft, low, monotonous voice, barely above a whisper. I considered carefully, looking off to one side, and answered very slowly, “I’d have to say… my mother……

Missing Mariani

“Mariani? No, she left for England Friday.” I turned and gazed across the dining room of the pizza joint, tried to focus on something across the room as an anchor against the swell of emotion these words brought. I was at Portofino’s Pizza #13, in Kifisia, a northern suburb of Athens, Greece. It was the…