Elisa Bonesteel '11
She is in the shower, two weeks after her son’s disappearance down by the loading docks. She lives in a small New England fishing town, littered with fisherman’s kitsch. Outside of her own house the welcome mat reads, “A fisherman and a normal person live here.” Although this sentiment is true now, just a little earlier it would have been more appropriate for the mat to read “normal persons”. It is painful for her to step on this mat these days. She is thinking about it, now, in the shower. She is wishing she had never given the damned thing to her husband for Father’s Day three years ago. She is thinking about how pointless holidays are these days. She is wondering if he is still a father even, without a son. She doesn’t care to think about the validity of her motherhood.
Her husband is downstairs, sitting in an overstuffed leather chair, staring at his desk. He is letting his eyes wander along with the wood grain, all the way left to the edge and then back to the right again. He is not thinking, or rather, he is thinking but only about the wood in front of him. On the desk are tackles and lures, and above it, framed, is a fly his father made next to a fly he made next to a crude one his son made. Back in the shower she hears a loud thump and is startled. The noise has not come from downstairs, where her husband sits (now staring at his reflection in a darkened window). The noise has not come from outside of her house, where a pool is covered with a tarp for the winter. The noise has not come from the basement, because she would probably have been unable to hear it. The noise has had to, without much doubt, come from the upstairs, where she is showering. She gets out of the tub without turning the water off. The mirror is covered in steam and small streaks where water has beaded and slid down the smooth glass. The doorknob is wet in her hand and she slips while gripping it. In the dark hallway nothing seems out of place. The master bedroom is swathed in shadows from the streetlight outside their window and she cranes her neck to look into each corner from the doorway. Everything looks as it should. Her sons room is at the end of the hallway. The door is closed. There is another thump, and this time she knows where it has come from. Her husband looks at the ceiling as he hears his wife’s feet slapping the hardwood at a quickened pace. He knows where she is going and yells up to her, “Cecile, come down now, don’t start this again!” But the footsteps do not stop. He sighs and reaches for his son’s framed fly, putting it gently into the bottom drawer of his desk.
Will’s final A.P. Art project was a series of images depicting Jesus in a leather jacket. The images were:
• the full figure in a forest, next to a small brook and a doe. (oil paint)
• close ups of his beard and the zipper lining the collar. (charcoal)
• a photograph of his sister wearing a felt beard, her nightgown and their dad’s leather.
• a cubist rendering (acrylic)
He received a 2 on the evaluation, a B- in the class and did not go on to college.
I took my daughter to a wedding last summer. It was the hottest summer in years, you couldn’t cool down if you stuck your head in the freezer, it was that kind of summer. Lemonade was no good. Ice cream was no good. About the only that helped was ice down the pants but that left funny marks on your shorts and begged for questions you didn’t really want to answer when someone came to the door uninvited. Anyhow, took my daughter to a wedding. Would’ve taken my wife but she had been acting funny for a while and didn’t want to risk something happening, would have been too embarrassing and also not fair to the kids getting married. I didn’t know them too well but I had worked with the groom’s dad for a couple of years and we’d kept in touch all right. He was the one who invited me, not his kid, no pastel invitation in the mail, just a telephone call in late afternoon. I checked my calendar and told the guy, Hell, I got nothing better to do, might as well get a free drink out of it. So I took my daughter down there. She had just come home from college for the summer. I had missed her like hell. She had grown up some since being away. She wore more black, and didn’t show her boobs off too much anymore. I fought like hell with her in high school to cover them things up. She never did listen, but back from college, ta-da, proper as pie. Anyhow, I guess there was still some of that old girl in there because she got drunk at the wedding and ended up going home with the best man and made a big scene. I should’ve just taken the wife.