Our first apartment in the States was in a three floor brick tenement at the corner of 10th and Duncannan in North Philadelphia. The landlord didn’t mind renting to Portuguese. In fact, he once told my father that of all the new immigrants coming into the neighborhood, we seemed the whitest.
That’s when Andy spots him. He looks twice to make sure. It’s definitely him. He looks older, a little more out of shape. But it’s him.
I finished the whole bottle before I started writing. If I’m going to get any empathy for my father I should at least try to see the world the same way he did.
In fact I managed to avoid notary publics completely until my first divorce. Both my mother and father referred to him simply as “the Ukrainian.”
He finishes pulling her clothes out of her closet. He overturns her drawers into the pile. And her hamper. Those smell particularly like her. He tries not to think about it.
It’s January of 1979 and we’re sitting inside the Plymouth Fury outside an AM/PM Mini Market in North Philadelphia.