I have no idea whether I was there, or my mother told me about this, or if I completely made it up: My dad came down to dinner in our dining room in a top hat and tails. Even if it didn’t happen, I believe he was like that: showily romantic. One time, at a banquet at Green Hills, the gold club he owned in Greenwich, he put a chair in the middle of the dance floor while members were eating, put my mother in the chair, and sang her a romantic song. Because I remember a couple at the club who were ancient (the man was always pulling quarters from behind our ears, and smiling into our faces as if his face were a full moon), I imagine that everyone witnessing this event was elderly. This can’t be true, though: it was not a club for seniors.
Here’s something I’d like to float by you: there is something brewing in me about the texture of the world—the feel of the wind, the rustle of leaves, the quality of light from moment to moment. Different people relate to this texture in different ways. Some people, like woodsmen, snuggle in like barnacles; others, like fat ladies with frizzled hair, have no idea it’s there. Some people, like fashionistas, think they’re outdoing it; others—great artists, dancers, musicians, writers—express it in ways that get you closer to it.
I think there is magic in the texture of the world, and I believe my father may have been a magician. Or maybe that’s how I saw him when I was a little girl: the beach on which lived, the beauty of our glass-backed house? He made them. He made the gulls who flew high and dropped clams; he made the eels that washed ashore. He made the sparkly rocks and the snow.
Why did he go away without saying goodbye?