Showing posts from January, 2012

making a history

            My father makes things.  He has, so far, been a cartographer, a filmmaker, a soldier, a photographer, an inventor, and a businessman.  He speaks four languages.  He is ambidextrous.  He has lived in all three worlds and has seen many of the faces of poverty and wealth.  My father has three names- one for each country he’s lived in.  Unconventional,  stubborn, eccentric, with a mode of problem solving that drives my mother crazy,  he is filled with stories.  This is one of them. I hope I get it right.             My father was born in Tunisia, in Tataouine, back when it was a tiny village in the desert.  His father, my grandfather, ground wheat for a living.  They lived in a  hut with no electricity- mother, father and half a dozen siblings.  My father talks of adventures climbing palm trees, of hitting birds with his slingshot, of making fantastical shadow puppets with the kerosene lamps. He talks of speaking French in a grade school where the teacher smacked him for wr

for faces

       Sitting on the couch cushions, on a night that didn’t feel much like Saturday. Crawling up against his chest, like a cat. A sigh. A letting go of the workday, a kind of easing. Into slowness. The little reading lamp over the chair. The shadows between the kitchen and the window.         “Everyone says I should join facebook,” he said, soft and sleepy.         Tracing the leaves on his arm. “Don’t join facebook.”         “I said -You should send me the pictures you took- and they said –We’re going to post them on facebook.-”         “Don’t do it.”         “And I said, -Call me the next time you want to hang out.-  And they said –But we’d invite you on facebook.-”         A sigh. “One day, we’re going to break up,” I said to his bicep, “and you’re going to join facebook. Then you’ll post pictures of yourself with your new girlfriend online. And I’m going to look at them.”         “Why does your brain go to these terrible places?”         “I don’t know,” I said, closing