Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Mario is, nonetheless, an expansive-seeming figure in this new life I have entered. I think of how my brother would make fun of him for being so self-consciously charming. So too my parents. So too my cousin Rob and my late grandmother Nana.

When Mario and I get together for coffee we ourselves make fun of lesser people. People who don’t know how to pronounce European place names like Montpelier, a name that comes up when we talk about Vermont, which it seems Mario too has been eyeing as an especially appealing liberal place. Mario decides that he would like to rent Donna’s Rutland house for two weeks. I call Donna to set it up. She says she will move down to the basement right away.

Sometimes when I get home to my apartment there are calls on my machine from both Mario and Gillian – dramatic new friends of mine in this new life in which so much from my past is being jettisoned. 

Mario joins me in driving in the Mustang up to Connecticut to look at the non-New Hampshire part of where I grew up. This is the sort of thing people in ACOA often do.

The old car is still so new that I have a
cardboard temporary Vermont license set in the back window. I pull up on Lyons Plain Road in a grassy strip by an old stone wall across the street from both the old clapboard family house of my childhood and the modest little one-story house next door, the place to which my parents retreated for 25 years before leaving forever to await death in a boring part of Florida. Just as the Mustang comes to a stop, a black and white police car pulls up behind me. A scraggly little cop in a neatly pressed uniform wants to know what I am doing here. He accepts my explanation grudgingly.

Being arrested is how I plan to describe it to my new friends in the city. And also to my old friend Jason Bacon, now in retirement in Vermont, much of whose childhood, like mine, was in this place. And of course I will tell about it to Peter Cooper who grew in the next town over.

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