Daphne Kalotay The summer I turned thirteen, my father fell in love. At least, that was what I thought; later I learned he and Shirley had already spent two years sleeping together in various hotel rooms, dodging their spouses and sons and early-morning checkouts. But that summer, freshly divorced, they lay on the veranda of the little cottage massaging cocoa oil into each other's shoulders, interspersing conversation with kisses on the neck and earlobes. My mother was off at her parents' house, "recovering." In fact she was taking pills, lying on the livingroom floor all day with her head under the coffee table. That's what they told us later. I was focused on my own problems: my body doing things I'd not expected. My voice had finally stabilized in a new, lower register, but the hair on my legs kept growing. And then there were the frequent, boisterous erections. Though the temperature was at least eighty degrees every day, and though no one came to visit us we knew nobody in that summer town I always wore jeans around the cottage, removing them only when I decided to enter the frigid river. I was thin and
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
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