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When a Beast Looks Up at the Stars
by Orrin Grey
“What’s the earliest memory you have of your father?” my therapist is asking. Such a tired line, something that a therapist would ask in a movie. I don’t tell him the truth, of course. I cast around for an easy lie, the same one that I would give to Kenzie if she asked, though she never does. Tell him something about my dad wrapping Christmas presents in old shoe boxes, packing them in socks, a twenty-dollar bill stuck between two bricks, wrapped in faded paper. Something that could be cute but always felt mean-spirited.
My laptop case is lying on the floor of the office. In it is a letter on stationery from the Seldon Civics Committee or somesuch, a clipping from the Seldon Herald, complete with a grainy newsprint photo of the old Gorka Theatre, with its marquee like an art deco wave. I’m driving there from here, in a rented black Accord, but I thought it would be a good idea to get one last therapy session in before I go.
No, let me stop. That’s a lie, and I know it. Kenzie thought it would be a good idea, and she’s right, but I knew it would be a waste of time, and it is. I talk about Seldon, about my childhood, about my dad, but I skim over the surface, like I’ve taught myself to do. A rock skipping across a deep, black pond, never touching the water long enough to attract the attention of the beasts that circle below. (Continue Reading…)