Spokane, Wa. 1982
Sunlight streamed through branches that had recently bent to the will of a rising wind. Pine cones and needles that were in need of raking littered the driveway and mom’s requests for their speedy removal were met with agitation and a promise to “get to them” after work one day. He held my sweaty hand and pulled me closer sending shivers down my neck and back. Soft whispers in my ear left drops of water on his forehead and cheeks as wet hair was swept aside and lips pressed gently onto mine.
The slider door opened and dad’s presence jolted me into a new reality. I removed myself from his arms and turned to acknowledge my father who stood on the middle deck peering down. It was nearly 8 a.m. and I was responsible for opening Bingo; bags of ice needed to be carried, containers of popcorn made and condiments filled for the various food items that were offered. I spoke slowly and told him that I would have to leave and he was welcome to sit at Bingo or spend his time at the house in the woods.
I unlocked the door and ushered him inside where he greeted my father with the utmost respect. His self assured demeanor was a welcome change and he seemed to fit perfectly into our family environment. I was assured that everything would be fine as he and dad walked to the car to spend a day running errands and working on projects around the house. I jumped in the car and made my way to the track where a day of Bingo, a break and then a night of work in the concessions stand would help to support my spending money throughout the year.
A rush that could not be explained clouded logic and urged me to take steps toward surrender. A borrowed car, directions scratched onto a single sheet of paper and his calm and humble character made it hard to hold strong.
Wood house and middle deck