Tuesday December 25 2012


☼ ○ ▬

With a group of examiners sorting through a chest. It contains a collection of Pogs and some coin money. It’s understood to belong to me. I discover a silver dollar that’s made of pure gold, manufactured back in the 1880’s. I pass it around. Burrell, an old landlord lady my mom and I used to live with when I was a child, is here. She offers me a sip from her square glass flask that seems to be aflame. I clasp it but carefully because I don’t want to get burnt.

Me: “Is this safe?”

She just grins and assures me it’ll be fine.

▬ ○ ☼

My dad opens the door to the guest room and exclaims, “You gonna sleep all day?” It’s 1 p.m. My body feels like it just caught up on an entire week’s sleep.

Jennifer, my stepsister, just got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I help her configure the settings.

Tamale. Orange Juice.

We drive to Aunt Deloris’s house in Grimesland. It’s the same faces from Thanksgiving. Running around the yard with the kids – shooting Nerf guns – kicking the soccer ball – snacking on various Cakes and sipping on Coffee.

On the drive back to the house. These North Carolina two-lane roads are so narrow and confusing. Amazed at how my dad knows the directions. We’ve probably made about 15 turns already.

Me: “How do you know where you’re going? These roads are like a maze.”

Dad: “I’ve lived here a long time.”


Jennifer and I huddle next to each other as we take turns at this running game on her Kindle Fire. The object of the game is to run away from monkeys and collect gold coins while avoiding obstacles. It’s kind of addicting but proves difficult to maneuver while our dad swerves left and right.

Back at the house in Goldsboro. Christmas dinner is being prepared. It’s a typical southern-style spread: Ham, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Collard Greens, Turnips, and Beets. Sipping on an exceptionally sweet Christmas Dublin Wine.

My dad and I continue to be entertained by Patty and Jennifer as they babble on in broken English. My dad gets a kick out of poking fun at them.

I remind him, “You asked for this...”

I think he’s grateful though for this kind of family atmosphere at his old age. He’s 64. Patty is 39.

I point out, “You realize when you were 25 she was just being born.”

Everybody laughs.

Settling down in the guest room. Jennifer accompanies me, watching some Spanish soap opera on her Kindle while I sift through the photos of the day.

I feel a scratch in my throat. Sipping on hot Honey Tea with a small slice of Spice Cake.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

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