I like to think of mine as fellow-voyagers crowded aboard the Île de France (the idea is swiped from “Outward Bound”). We elders—what kind of a handle is this, anyway, halfway between a tree and an eel?
Here’s my father, still handsome in his tuxedo, lighting a Lucky Strike. —we elders have learned a thing or two, including invisibility. Have I experienced what neurologists call a TIA—a transient ischemic attack?
In the meantime, their eyes will be fixated on Zamora's court appearances."I want her to spend the rest of her life in prison," said the boy's father.
We geezers carry about a bulging directory of dead husbands or wives, children, parents, lovers, brothers and sisters, dentists and shrinks, office sidekicks, summer neighbors, classmates, and bosses, all once entirely familiar to us and seen as part of the safe landscape of the day. The surprise, for me, is that the accruing weight of these departures doesn’t bury us, and that even the pain of an almost unbearable loss gives way quite quickly to something more distant but still stubbornly gleaming. Family ice-skating up near Harlem in the nineteen-eighties, with the Park employees, high on youth or weed, looping past us backward to show their smiles.
The victim said the relationship started in a classroom chat group when Zamora started flirting with him and began sending him naked pictures of herself.
After Zamora and her husband discovered the parents' knowledge of the alleged sexual relationship, they began to harass the victim's father, according to court documents.
There’s Ted Smith, about to name-drop his Gloucester home town again. Here’s Esther Mae Counts, from fourth grade: hi, Esther Mae. Here I am in a conversation with some trusty friends—old friends but actually not all that old: they’re in their sixties—and we’re finishing the wine and in serious converse about global warming in Nyack or Virginia Woolf the cross-dresser. I didn’t expect to take over the chat but did await a word or two of response. (Women I know say that this began to happen to them when they passed fifty.) When I mention the phenomenon to anyone around my age, I get back nods and smiles. Honored, respected, even loved, but not quite worth listening to anymore. I’ve been asking myself why I don’t think about my approaching visitor, death.
There’s Gardner—with Cecille Shawn, for some reason. There’s a pause, and I chime in with a couple of sentences. He was often on my mind thirty or forty years ago, I believe, though more of a stranger.