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New York, New York, United States
"Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A perfect Saturday

written for Pops Yow for Father's Day 6/21/09

It was a warm, drowsy day. She sat idly on the couch, book laid forgotten by her side. Her eyes were bright with daydreams prompted by the gentle winds drifting in from the screen door. A perfect Saturday.

Her reveries were suddenly disturbed by the appearance of her father, hands laden with wooden boards. He marched around the backyard, laying down the boards, picking up a red box of tools and bringing them out one by one.

The girl frowned, the hazy cobwebs of imagination dispersed by the all too real apparition. She peeled herself off the couch and made to move. Her father spied her from the backyard and called her over. She stopped, pondered feigning deafness, thought better of it and went out to her father.

He asked if she would like to help him build something. The girl stood in the noon sunshine listlessly. She asked what. He responded that it would be a surprise. Intrigued against her will, the girl agreed to help. The father nodded and smiled. He handed her a hammer and pointed to the stack of wooden boards, instructing her to remove the old nails from the boards. Instantly, the girl regretted volunteering her services, but settled down to her task with a martyred air. The father picked up a tape measure and whistling, proceeded to measure another stack of boards, making little marks on the boards with a blunt pencil.

A cool breeze swayed the leaves on the orange trees, setting the wind chime alight with fractured sound. The father’s whistling floated away on the tails of the wind.

The afternoon idled by and the girl found herself enjoying the work. She held on to one end of a board while her father sawed -- the measured silence between them pleasant.

Lunchtime brought the mother out with glasses of cranberry juice and chilled noodles with tangy dipping sauce. Father and daughter sat on the porch, sweaty, dusty, slurping up the cold noodles.

After lunch, the father abruptly disappeared into the house. A few moments later, he returned with a small portable TV. He propped the tv up, plugged it in and switched it on. The screen was small, the sound scratchy and the image fuzzy. It was the World Cup. They went back to work, the girl now sanding down cut boards while the father continued to saw.

An explosion of cheers from the TV made the girl look up. She began to ask the father questions about the game. Amiably, he turned the sound down and explained. The girl was intrigued and soon both she and the father were cheering the game on. A goal made caused both girl and father to whoop and holler in glee. The mother, hearing the din from in the house smiled.

The afternoon’s heat lifted as the sky turned to dusk. The white roses on the bushes beyond the porch shone like creamy moons in the fading light. Girl and father hammered away, now chattering together like a pair of magpies.

As full dark descended, the back porch light flicked on and the girl and the father surveyed their finished work with satisfaction. A bookshelf for her room.

Girl and Father stood side-by-side and smiled in unison.

A perfect Saturday.

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