How to Do the Twist
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a man with large brown arms. They had a tangle of black hairs, and
as I followed the arms up and up, I found the man's face. He was
dressed in white and he reminded me of Bob Hope. He looked like
someone who was going to play golf later.
is your father?" he asked.
navy." That's all I knew. Somewhere in Virginia. Somewhere in the
navy. My father was always somewhere else.
mother spent three months at a state mental institution called Fairfield
Hills. It took an hour for my father to drive us there, so we only
went on weekends. The place looked a lot like Scarlett O'Hara's
Tara, only it had bars on the windows. My brother and I weren't
allowed inside because we were kids, so we would wait on the grass
outside and make up stories about the people in the criminally insane
wing of the hospital. Finally our parents would come out, and they
would fight while my brother and I ate the chicken sandwiches we'd
packed in aluminum foil. I'd sit and watch them, imagining my mother
was Scarlett O'Hara and my father was Rhett Butler.
am I getting out of here?" My mother refused to eat the sandwich,
refused the forsythias I had picked from the backyard for her. They
were wilted anyway.
you're better." My father swallowed hard.
not taking any pills."
not the pills," my father sighed. "It's the reason why you took
took the pills because you're an asshole."