Three Hundred and Sixty

22 Jul

“Do you ever feel like smoking?”
She puts down her coffee cup and shakes her head.
“How strange that you ask that…I was thinking about that a few days ago.”
“About picking it back up?”
“Very strange. After twenty-eight years, yes…I was thinking about picking it back up,” she says.
“Why? Do you smoke now? I thought you smoked cigars a while ago.”
I lie.
“Everything comes back around, you know,” she says.
“I know. For example, twenty-eight years ago you were dealing with immigration and green card issues. And look at what I’m about to do.”
“Even better,” she says, “twenty-eight years ago I was eating a hundred dollars’ worth of groceries a month…”
“And how much now?”
“About a hundred and twenty.”
“A month?”
She nods.
“You know, adjusted for inflation…”
“Jesus. That’s amazing.”
“I can tell you. Half a slice of toast with butter, and a boiled egg maybe with a tiny corner of that…what’s that cheese…that yellow kind?”
“American cheese.”
“Yes. With a tiny corner of American cheese. A day.”
“A day?”
“A day. Your father hates this story. Never wants to hear it.
“He’s your father. You know him.”
“Everything comes back around. We all end up at the beginning again.”
We’re interrupted three times by a phone call from a high-pitched, little voice. She is excited about riding her tricycle around the giant deck at the country house. She is excited about using the washroom for the first time. She is excited about her black, pet snake. She is excited about…

“Do you ever feel like smoking?”
She puts down her coffee cup and shakes her head.
“How strange that you ask that…”


One Response to “Three Hundred and Sixty”

  1. Anonymous 23/07/2007 at 12:15 PM #

    I like the circular narrative, but you sneak in there that part about your daughter. I love that the most; how within your idea of everything ending back to where it started, there is something new and fresh beginning, and new milestones. You are clever and very good.

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