A Band of Angels Coming After Me

“This can’t all be for Sam,” I said. The line of cars crept forward and kept stopping as drivers discharged passengers in front of the church. Double parked cars left no room to pass.

“It might be.” My husband strummed his fingers on the wheel. “Didn’t the paper say he was a deacon?”

I almost wore the black dress I bought for my father’s funeral, but I’d guessed right—half the women were in summery cotton prints. I was glad I’d livened up my navy skirt and jacket with a yellow silk blouse and Hermés scarf. Two older women in dashikis were hatless, so I decided to leave my straw cloche in the car.

We found a space two blocks down, in front of a vacant lot. Gary probably wished we’d driven my five-year-old Volvo instead of his new BMW. On the small stone porch of a bungalow across the street, a family sat in vinyl beach chairs, an empty Domino’s Pizza box on the steps. Half a dozen children played on the sidewalk. I exchanged a smile with the middle aged grandmother. If she was curious about a white couple walking in this neighborhood, she didn’t show it.

As we got near the church, other well dressed mourners welcomed us with friendly smiles. The church had an imposing brick facade with stone steps, columns, and Hebrew letters on the pediment. I whispered to Gary, “This must have been a synagogue once.” He nodded, almost imperceptibly. We worked our way through the lobby with the crowd and entered the sanctuary.

Id expected a small service. We buried my father four months ago, in New Jersey, attended by exactly fifteen people plus a rabbi. The few old friends and cousins still alive had all moved to Florida or to nursing homes wherever their children had settled. Here were a couple of hundred folks in this packed church; maybe more. Even with those air conditioners in the windows, it felt hotter inside than outside.

We found seats near the back, in the middle of a pew. An older lady followed me in, sporting a handmade blue hat, no longer new, its brim adorned with a large blue silk rose and a bow. She said, “Welcome to West Side Baptist. You must be friends of the family.”

Gratefully I said yes, we were. On the other side of the church I saw a white face, a young woman beside a tall bearded man, with two milk chocolate children. She wore a plain shift, the color of her husband’s skin. I wondered whether the woman ever felt she belonged in this community. How self-conscious she must be, her paleness exposed like an iceberg in a sea of black and brown.

I saw Sam’s family in the front row. First Gloria, the obese daughter who used to cover for him whenever he took a night off, before Dad went in the nursing home and didn’t need the extra care. The other two must be Sam’s more successful daughters. The older one I guessed was Helen, a registered nurse; the one in the pinstripe suit would be Eleanor, an executive at AT&T. Was their brother back in jail, I wondered, or out of contact with his family? Young people filled the rest of the row, obviously the grandchildren, from Eleanor’s boy in law school down to the panhandling, stoned dropout I’d met not long ago.

On folding chairs, four women in white uniforms and caps like nurses’ stared dourly down the left and right aisles. The wall behind the dais, where the Ark of the Covenant once stood, was tiled in purple and yellow like a garish swimming pool. In fact, there appeared to be some kind of dunking pool back there. The uniformed ladies would be the ones who assisted on Sundays, baptizing the saved.

The church was full now, ten minutes past the starting time, the choir was in place and the percussionist, installed behind his array of stands and drums and cymbals, restlessly thrummed his sticks against his palm while two companions, a teenaged keyboarder with dreadlocks and a lean, older guitarist, still fussed with cables and amps. My son’s high school jazz combo was always wiring up at the last minute like that.

I tried to picture the room as a synagogue. Its balcony, now dark, was screened to hide the women from the men below, if not from God. Sam once told me that when he was a boy, Jews were the store owners and absentee landlords—he thought the word meant “people you got to pay your money to.”

“Now it’s the other way,” I’d joked, writing him his check for the month.

Gary isn’t Jewish. We’ve been married almost a year. He met Dad only once—or, rather, saw him; there wasn’t much left of Dad to know. But he came to Dad’s funeral. My ex-husband, son-in-law for over twenty years, didn’t fly out for it. Ex-son-in-law, but still. Sam wished he could go, and I’d have bought him a ticket if he’d been well enough.

As Sam’s service was about to begin, more people squeezed into our row. The four whirring air conditioners were having no appreciable effect.

Thirty years ago, in college, I had a panic attack at a crowded frat party—tachycardia, sweating, couldn’t breathe, I guess I passed out, and friends carried me to the college health service. They gave me some pills for anxiety, probably Valium back then, which I didn’t take. Ever since that time I’ve avoided that combination of packed rooms, heat, and noise. Now—a physician myself, like my father, like Gary—I felt my heart rate quicken as all three ingredients were present. The fear of fainting could, actually, make me faint. This would be the worst possible place to pass out. I needed to focus on anything but the press of bodies.

Sam’s presence amid the floral arrangements startled me, his head and shoulders tilted up as though he were napping in a lounge chair. Over the right half of his casket they’d draped an American flag. I hadn’t anticipated seeing him. Piser’s prepared my father’s body, then shipped him to New Jersey where we interred him beside my mother with only a few perfunctory words by a rabbi who never knew him. Prior to the symbolic shovels of earth, I placed his eyeglasses on the descending coffin, and a large bag of Hershey’s chocolate kisses. My sister deposited a book of New York Times crosswords with a ball point pen. Then we took our kids for ice cream at the Friendly’s near our old house. A tradition: We’d gone back there after Mom’s funeral, too.

That was only seven years ago, yet Dad’s symptoms were barely noticeable then; he stood with us, shook hands, received kisses from Mom’s friends. He blamed himself for having delayed taking her to Sloan-Kettering. She died five months to the day from when they diagnosed her tumor. He never complained that I only made three short trips east, and wasn’t with them at the end. I was taking care of a houseful of adolescent, inattentive males—one of them my husband, chronically depressed and perversely opposed to psychiatric meds—while my partners looked to me, the woman in the practice, to oversee the nurses as well as our billing staff. My first marriage was moribund if not dead, merely awaiting burial. I didn’t have time for my mother to be ill, let alone die.

From the program, cheaply printed but thoughtfully composed, I learned that Sam was twelve years younger than Dad; served with the Third Marine Ammunition Company in Saipan; worked as a custodian for the Chicago Board of Education for forty-two years; and was the church’s longest serving deacon. In a montage of family photos, the combination of textured paper and brown ink made the dark faces all but unrecognizable: Sam in knee pants at six or seven; Sam in Marine uniform, arms around his mother and father; his wedding picture; and one with his wife, surrounded by daughters and some grandchildren at what I guessed was their fiftieth anniversary. I could have supplied some interesting shots of Sam. I have two or three of him in our dining room, different years, helping Dad blow out birthday candles. (Helping, one year; doing it for him the next.) Another of Sam wearing a yarmulke at the nursing home’s Passover seder, seated beside Dad while the boys and I leaned in behind them. And the reverse of that one, like its negative: a snapshot Gloria sent me, with Dad’s Parkinson-frozen white face the centerpiece of their smiling family behind an abundant dinner table.

The room felt close, hot. They should stop letting people in. This was dangerous. I took a deep breath, telling myself not to be silly, there was plenty of air. If only they would hurry up and get started, get through it.

Sam saw “Doc” as a person, not a patient. And Dad, a shy man, reciprocated that respect. They were two veterans of the war in the Pacific, readers of history and lovers of old movies; widowers, fathers, grandfathers. He became the most intimate friend my father ever had, so far as I know. I’m not just talking about brushing his teeth, cleaning and dressing him. I mean friendship.

Dad surely had African-American patients, and assorted nonwhites on the hospital staff; but my parents had no close non-Jewish friends, let alone black ones. Of course, I live and work in a diverse community. I’m in a culturally mixed marriage. My kids had a rainbow of friends in the house. But Dad was from another time. It surprised me, how willing he was, while he could walk and his mind was still sharp, to ride down here to the West Side for Sam’s family parties or church events, or cruise around in Sam’s car. It was more than just getting out of the assisted-living home; he always said he had a good time.

The only time I visited Sam’s house was two months ago. I drove down because it sounded from the description of his medications and frequent dialysis that his diabetes must be more advanced than either he or Gloria understood. Although there was nothing I could do for him, Sam was so glad to see me, so appreciative of my interest in his condition and care, that I was glad I came—until Gloria’s nephew trailed me to my car to ask for money. For food, he said. He was either on something or he was retarded. “There’s food in your grandpa’s kitchen,” I said.

“What a wonderful attendance we have tonight,” the tall, good-looking pastor said. I couldn’t agree; half as many would have been wonderful, but this was oppressive. He looked young, around thirty-five. “We ask those of you who are already seated, slide over as far as you can to the middle of each row so we can squeeze in a few more brothers and sisters.” He smiled broadly and the congregants chuckled as they obliged him, but the squeezing was no joke. Like most of the women in the room I was fanning myself with the program, though I could hardly do so without elbowing the nice lady on my right. Maybe I should get up now, before it was too late. There must be a way to get up to that empty balcony, it couldn’t be as hot and stuffy as here. But the whole row would have to precede me into the aisle. Two women halfway down were so big their knees bumped up against the pew in front.

The pastor introduced an elderly minister and a choir-robed lady, both from Sister Eleanor’s church on the South Side. There were murmurs of approval, which the two dignitaries acknowledged with smiles. “Alderman Daniels, Congressman Ross and all our other guests this evening” (the pastor drew out his words like a baritone Martin Luther King: ow-uh oth-uh guest) “come to praise Jesus’ name and thank Him for the life of our departed Brother Samuel Worth.” The guest soloist, a woman about my age in a gorgeous ankle-length dress trimmed with gold scroll braid, stepped down in front of the pews near Sam’s casket, and with a handheld microphone began to sing:

I looked over Jordan. And what did I see? Comin’ for to carry me home …

The instrumentalists restricted themselves at first to minimal accents in the background, but as her voice expanded so did the guitar and organ chords, joined by the choir. A band of angels comin’ after me … I’d never heard gospel music all around me like this, in full power. Gary practically glowed as he joined the congregation. Coming for to carry me home … If only the church weren’t stifling. The program said we had to get through eulogies—plural—and four more hymns.

The singer was drenched when she finished, as were the robed choir members. There was danger of people passing out here. I wondered if the four women in uniforms were genuine nurses.

Pastor Robertson took the podium again. “Brother Samuel was the first person I met in this church and the first words he said to me was ‘I been coming to this church since before you were born.’ It was true, he’d been a deacon of West Side Baptist since 1958, when the church was over on Roosevelt in a storefront.”

Praise Jesus,” the woman next to me cried.

“And with the spirit of the Lord in his heart …”

Voices called, “That’s right” … “Amen, Pastor

“… Brother Worth helped bring us to this magnificent house of prayer.”

“Thank you Jee-sus.”

My mind drifted as the minister continued. The phrase “celebration of life” came to me—what I’d like to have done for my father. There didn’t seem to be anything at the end to sincerely celebrate. The ten year course of disease had taken first his muscle coordination and balance, then gradually his mind, memory, and my own memory of who he’d been.

The choir followed the eulogy with a rousing number, featuring a woman and two male soloists armed with tambourines. The whole church—the sultry air itself—throbbed with the beat. “Praise Him. While you. Sti-ill. Have a. Chaance!” Closing my eyes, I pictured African drums. I caught myself: a racist thought? No, because the music did have African roots.

The congregation didn’t applaud, but many called out “Thank you Jesus! and waved their arms. Now Pastor Robertson asked the Congressman to come up. He’d lost the boyish face I remembered from the 1960s, when he was lionized by activists and demonized by the political establishment. It turned out his connection to Sam predated those Panther days. “He taught me to shoot a basketball. Wasn’t a whole lot of fathers living in the ‘hood, but he was a man would ask you what were you learning, tell you there was nothing you couldn’t do if you stayed in school. Mostly he was a role model. How you doin’, Sam Junior?”—exchanging a nod with a head-shaved, stocky man two rows back from the daughters. So the son was here, after all. Sam used to tell me about his heartache over Junior. The Congressman said, “Remember your Daddy used to take us both on, two on one?” I tried to picture Sam under the hoop with the two boys. One became a courageous, strident radical and then an effective politician; the other, though Sam’s son, a drug addict and a convicted housebreaker (twice). Sam had his own drinking problem, we discovered—he fell off the wagon once during our employment, but came back fine after thirty days at the VA Hospital. Whether that problem was cause or consequence of Sam Junior’s woes, or neither, he didn’t say. I now thought Sam would have shared more of that part of his life, if I’d asked. He was more likely sheltering me than himself from embarrassment about the disappointments in his largely respectable life.

Like the Congressman, the alderman had a name familiar from the news. I couldn’t recall whether he was one of the Mayor’s antagonists or part of his machine. He described Sam as a leader in the community, a precinct captain. “Getting folks out to register and vote. Where would this community be, Congressman, without the get-out-to-vote?

“I also think about, when I recollect about my friend Sam Worth, the man’s curiosity!” Heads nodded in agreement and chuckled. “Ever see somebody read so many different books? Didn’t matter—history, gardening, Western stories, cookbooks even—it was a book, he would read it. I know he read his Bible, Pastor, but stop and talk with a group of men on the street, somebody say he just got back from Georgia, next thing you know Sam askin’ him do they still have a problem with that kudzu vine taking over? Man never been in Georgia in his life, all of a sudden he be askin’ you ‘bout the plant life down there, and you want to say, ‘Lord, Sam—I don’t know!’”

The church roared, Gary and I with them. We knew the same Sam, always with a magazine or a book. “Exactly!” I said to Gary. I noticed the woman on the other side of him, holding a beautiful little girl in her lap, immaculately dressed. Neither of my children ever sat so patiently at that age.

Mark and Ronnie, in college now, show no signs of the devotion to Judaism they avowed in their Bar Mitzvahs. Which shouldn’t surprise me, I suppose, after they saw their parents divorce and their mother marry a Christian in a civil ceremony.

When the minister invited anyone else who cared to stand and speak about Sam, I almost would have, if I weren’t so wedged in, and sweaty. I could tell them Sam wasn’t just an employee but a true friend to my father, how grateful I was to him for that. And testify to that intellectual curiosity: so true, all the way to the end of Sam’s life. How Sam and Doc used to watch the History channel, and rent war movies, and ride all over the city comparing neighborhoods.

One of the grandsons stood and mumbled something—not the one who’d asked me for money. Then the largest of those women in the nurse uniforms started a full-length oration about how much West Side Baptist owed to Brother Worth. Unlike the huge women at the end of our pew, and the double-wide, as my sons would call her, in the choir, this sister carried her enormous fat on a small frame. It hung in folds from her bare forearms, glistening with perspiration. Although she got her share of Thank you Jesuses from the church, I could tell I wasn’t the only one praying, in this heat, keep it short for God’s sake. What I might have said in appreciation of Sam, I would write in a note to his daughters.

After Dad no longer recognized me, I had cut down to two short visits a week, then one—just running in so the staff would know his family still cared. But I continued to pay Sam for the visits he made, two or three times a week as his own health and Dad’s mind deteriorated. If I stopped in on a day Sam was there, reading beside the always sleeping Doc, I’d sit awhile and chat with him about medicine, or politics, or teen-agers.

Soon, Sam couldn’t drive up to Evanston any more. When I called to tell him Doc had passed away, he asked about the funeral and apologized that he wasn’t well enough to make the trip to New Jersey.

The choir was singing Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus, a slow, sad hymn the musicians milked with blues chords. As a girl, in temple or celebrating the holidays at home, we merely chanted, without passion, hardly comprehending the ancient words in translation, let alone in Hebrew. Gary grew up going to church, but I doubted if he could relate much to this one. He once described his family’s church as sterile and buttoned up—like his parents themselves. What was happening here filled the church and every person in it, clapping and lifting up their hands to the Lord. Sam wouldn’t have thought much of our colorless, brief service for Dad. Of course, Dad would have wanted it short and quiet. But maybe we—my sister and I and our kids—missed something.

Catching a whiff of my seat partner—part perfume, part sweat—I wondered how my own deodorant was holding up. Its all day anti-perspirant claims were disproved an hour ago. What if I fainted? Better not think about that.

When, in the course of Dad’s illness, did I turn into a cynic? I used to think, How much increase in Dad’s dosages would it take? I said that once to my friend Wendy, who’s a social worker and knew it was more than just a wisecrack. My gloom didn’t lift when he finally died. The burden of visiting him gave way to the burden of closing out his bonds, dividing the proceeds with my sister, filing documents with the court. Although I grumbled about the time all that took, the real problem was worse. Gary and I have yet to take a vacation together, other than one weekend. After the relentless pall of Dad’s degeneration, I was still caught up in its aftermath and in my own anger at … not Dad, I told myself, but the goddamned disease.

Wendy said I was going through the empty nest crisis—children off to college, father no longer needing me either. “You’re not clinically depressed, you’re grieving.”

“I don’t know what I’m grieving for—I didn’t lose anything.”

“Maybe that is exactly what you’re grieving about: what you didn’t have, what you hoped for while he was alive, but could never get?” That made sense—Dad and I had never spent time together, apart from my mother—but what was I supposed to do about it now? When the early stage of his own illness was confirmed, and my mother died, suddenly he needed me. And just as we started to get close, he was falling apart. We discussed his illness as two clinicians.

One time, I tried to speak about what it meant for us personally. “I feel sad that we didn’t become closer earlier in my life, when you weren’t … “

“… dying. I know,” he said. “But let’s not talk about that.” Mom was like that, too—you didn’t talk about death. No wonder I could hardly recall her funeral. There were more people, of course—thirty or forty—and the rabbi knew her. It was all very sedate and dignified, like Mom. Jonathan was there, my husband. And our boys. I remember the three of them afterward, at Friendly’s. In Mom’s honor, my sister and I each ate a Double Deluxe Sundae with sprinkles.

Now here I was at Sam’s service, comparing my husbands. Jonathan’s disorganization could make any mundane task into a crisis—for others. Gary makes life and death mundane. Life with Jonathan was a constant adventure, usually an aggravating one, as when in one of his periodic unemployments he agreed to take over the bill paying and bank accounts, and fouled them up within a month; and when (shame on me) we tried it again a couple of years later and the same thing happened. But never dull. “Oh shit, what time is it?” was his mantra. The boys would be calling me at the office from school at six o’clock, “Where’s Dad?” I miss him in the mornings most, when I see Gary brush his short hair and button his cufflinks. He always knows the time, and how long it takes to get from point A to point B. Although I cursed having to pick up after Jonathan, Mark, and Robbie, it would be nice, I now thought, to find a washcloth on the shower floor or something like that. Instead of wrung out and neatly folded over the rack, every morning.

During the last chorus of Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus, the snowy-maned guest preacher heaved himself out of the seat of honor and strode to the podium. He must be well known to the church, judging by the pastor’s deference toward him and the way the musicians went on riffing quietly behind him, using chords to accent his admonition that indeed “can’t nobody do us like Him.” His sermon took that as its text, and somehow his speaking voice became another instrument in the combo, its melody and rhythm a musical cortege conveying Sam’s soul to the pearly gates, followed closely by the souls of everyone present. I could see what draws people to come forward at revival services, the rhythm and the passion, that resonant booming voice, a Father calling his children to salvation. If the old preacher concluded with an invitation to come up and receive the Lord, I smiled to myself, I might just go ahead and be saved there and then.

Family members were gathering around the casket. The portly funeral director motioned Sam Junior and one of the grandsons to take the flag off the casket and fold it. He worked a lever to lower Sam’s head, then closed the cover. The musicians were playing a hymn called It Won’t be Long.

I realized I’d been crying, silently. I didn’t know when I took the Kleenex out of my purse, but I already needed another one. Now all the soloists stood together at the podium. Thank God, the program listed this as the final hymn: Coming Home. From the first notes by the instrumentalists and the choir, the air felt charged. The uniformed nurses sensed it, too; they looked around like bodyguards, anticipating trouble. The music built up, the congregation joining in choruses alternating with turns by each soloist—each topping the previous solo by higher or lower notes, more volume, longer phrases between breaths—while the choir created a multi-part harmony that went on, and on, and on. If it lasted any longer it would blow the roof off the church.

Gary was singing; he knew the hymn. I had to lean close to hear his tenor voice, though he was singing as loud as everyone else, from deep in his chest. Suddenly a lady in the row ahead, two over from Gary, stood up and gripped the pew, rigid at first, then trembling. Her eyes rolled up. “She’s having a seizure!” I said, expecting Gary to move toward the woman or tell someone to support her in case she fell. He put his hand on my knee as if to say, we’ll stay out of it. I saw the row of people move so one of the nurses could get to the woman.

Another woman, on the opposite side of the church, began to convulse in a similar way, and to jabber. Talking in tongues: a form of seizure, I supposed. Not heatstroke. The frenzied, writhing women were bearers of a rapture felt by many. I could feel it, too. They were merely the few who gave themselves over to it. Was it always the same ladies, and if so, did it only happen to them in church? Or were they epileptics whose neurotransmitters flooded at any excitement?

An attendant in white calmly appeared next to each victim/patient/saint. The little girl beside Gary watched the woman in front of her with wide-eyed fascination—but calmly, though the woman’s face, in the throes of ictus, showed excruciating pain. Or was it ecstasy? Several others rose in place to sway, eyes closed, too transported by the music to keep their seats. The attendants seemed to know by experience who could be left to work it through, who needed to be held or fanned or helped to a seat lest she crash down among the pews. The latter category included Gloria: flailing her arms and wailing in a histrionic display of unbearable grief.

The mascara-smudged tissue in my fist told me that my face must look a mess. No shame in that. Even Gary had reached up to wipe away a tear when they closed the casket. I managed to hold myself together, despite the musky heat of compressed humanity and the floor-shaking volume of sound—until this moment. Now I succumbed to it, suddenly, as though that chord the electric organist kept returning to like a hammer had finally burst the wall of my chest, in sobs.

The crying took over, hijacking my body. I shook, like a trauma patient in shock. As loud as the music was, I heard myself moaning above it, keening, then croaking. I gasped for breath. I had to get out of this church, out of the crowd, away from the music, yet that was impossible without making a worse spectacle of myself.

I don’t know when the lady beside me started fanning vigorously with one hand while stroking me supportively on the shoulder. She thinks I’m filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh Christ, get me out of here.

Gary was holding both my hands in his. I pulled away, but he put his arm around me, held me close and rocked me. To my horror, out of the swirling faces turning to look at me, I saw a nurse moving down the side aisle, gesturing to Gary. “Tell her I’m okay,” I tried to say into his lapel. “Wave her away. I don’t want everyone looking at me.” But he couldn’t hear me—the overpowering music, the cloth muffling my voice, and anyway I no longer had a voice. It was all I could do to catch my breath.

The room warped, blurred by my tears and the makeup running into my eyes. I felt myself hyperventilating. Deep, slow breathing; God don’t let me faint.

I’m lying on a leather couch, in an office of some kind. Above my head, upside down, Gary looks flushed. He smiles at me weakly. Right side up are other faces: There’s Gloria kneeling beside me, holding my hand, having regained control of herself; one of the nurses, fanning me with a piece of sheet music; the lady in the hat, still somehow sitting next to me and still stroking my upper arm. On the wall Jesus stands, a dusky brown Jesus with Caucasian features, arms outstretched in loving acceptance. Thank you, Jesus.

I see Gary perspiring. His jacket and shirt are damp with sweat and black smudges from my tears. He’s holding my jacket; who removed it? My blouse is soaked, its collar unbuttoned . The lady in the hat beams with joy. “Don’t get up, just rest there,” Gary’s saying, far away.

“How long was I …?”

“Only a couple of minutes. Keep your head down.”

“Aunt Glory?” A young man’s voice, opening the door.

Gloria says, “I’m coming, Tyree. Did you get the water?” She takes a glass from him and hands it to the nurse lady. To me she says, “Ain’t no hurry, Sarah, honey.” Tyree is the grandson—the one who panhandled me in front of Sam’s house—wearing a jacket and tie.

After a minute, I sit up and accept the glass of water. “How bad do I look?” I ask Gary.

“Like you shouldn’t wear makeup, next time you go to a funeral.”

“Oh, now,” the hat lady says. “You all can see we don’t hold nothing back in our church.” She grins. “We’re all right now, though.” Easy for her to say; her dress is dry, her makeup intact. “He’s with the Lord now,” the woman says. “No doubt about that.”

Her scent mixes with my own and with Lemon Pledge and with the minister’s old leather couch. The insistent percussion and keyboard have stopped, yet the guitar plays on. The congregation is chattering, communing, laughing as they file out of the church, and somewhere invisible among that host are Sam’s good soul and the minyan of old storekeepers whose sanctuary it was; the shadowed souls of the grandmothers in the screened balcony; my father’s wordless valediction, and his younger, healthier face beaming on the aisle as I marched out of Rockefeller Chapel with my Medical School class; my mother at my wedding, so long ago; and there she is again, holding one of my babies. There all of us are, in that chariot, swingin’ low.


© 2007, Ken Kaye

1 comment:

Gardner Powell said...

Though we are always cautioned not to assume the "I" narrator is the author - I am amazed that you, Ken Kaye, get into the persona so convincingly.
I guess fiction can transport us as well as poetry...Cool story.