My Father’s Son



Paolo Veronese, “Portrait of Count Giuseppe da Porto with his Son Adriano” (1720)

It was the end of a day.

I’d say “long day” but that would be melodramatic.

It was the end of a day. A day, like most, occupied with the busyness of life.

I was in the kitchen and I made a quick motion with my arm. I smelt something.

It is my father.

I’m back in my parents’ orange-wallpapered kitchen in suburban Long Island. I’m about 5 or 6 years old. My father came home from work a few minutes ago. He’s sitting at the head of the kitchen table, getting ready to eat or smoke a cigarette. I stand by his side, leaning against him, one half of my small buttocks on the edge of his chair, my side against his side, my face just under his outstretched arm.

I am my father’s son.


—Howard Hain




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