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Guest Posts, healing, World Events

Dear Mothers of Beheaded Journalists

December 11, 2014


By A.L.C.

The night I learned my father had suffered a massive heart attack, I was driving downtown to meet R for dinner. I don’t know exactly why my step mom didn’t tell me that my father was rushed to the ER days before, had 3 stints placed on his heart and then went into shock when he tried to leave the hospital, but I do know my father is fiercely private about anything that indicates weakness. I am not friends with my father or his wife on Facebook in order to protect both of us: I cannot imagine it being comfortable for him to read all of my sex positive, radical liberal, sexually explicit writing. He does not want me to broadcast his declining health, and he does not want to worry his clients that he had since the 1970’s, but really, I think he doesn’t want my brother who is mentally unstable and often homeless to catch wind of his vulnerability. My brother could rob his office or attack him. My brother, an addict with untreated mental health issues, has been in and out of prison my entire life. So my father’s secret heart attack had happened days earlier and no one told me until I happened to call his landline.

R and I were both famished and everything was closed except for a new French place on 5th and Broadway. We weaved through the street hustlers asking for cash. R opened his palms to them and patted his empty pockets as if to say, “I got nothing.” Inside the restaurant, Nora Jones played that song about not knowing why she didn’t come. We sat on tall, uncomfortable stools. R bent over a tiny breadboard with three hard cheeses I couldn’t pronounce, tasty green olives and buttery skinned almonds. The restaurant was cozy and dim. Couples sat close and fussed over tiny piles of fig compote and prosciutto; held their wine in fat goblets and sipped as though there would be rivers of wine forever. My new relationship with R felt breakable and dangerous. I was afraid to thrash it with my heavy silent panic of losing another parent and the sudden news stung like a light too bright to look at directly and so I stared at the woman behind the counter while she sliced fruit on a breadboard the shape of a pig. I ate my olives and waited for R to say something, anything. Morbier. Rigotte de Condrieu. Gruyere. Continue Reading…

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