When I hit my father for the first time, he fell. I was twenty-three. He
was about sixty. He lost his balance. I was stunned. There had been no resistance.
I had thought the human body was dense.
He took it inwards, soft as a blanket, lost his balance, fell back. The
whole world crumbles when your father loses his substantiality. You realize
that you did not spring out of the earth. You are not Anataeus. No, you
floated down from the sky---no, it was from a plane that was old beyond
service, that was fused from metal and paper, an old wreck of bamboo and
rubber, balsa and driftwood, bird bones and fishbones. You were the sole
I remember picking up his glasses, running away, running down the tiers
and tiers of stairs. Knowing and wanting him to follow after. How painful
it is to love, and, beyond mere love, to hate someone until they permeate
you. I wanted to mangle the glasses, wrench the frame out of shape. But
I knew that they were expensive. The logic of the mind is odd. I hailed
a cab, and left them unharmed on the curb. When I looked back, I saw him
running after, and then he stood. Through the blur of the frost and steam,
I thought he was waving.
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