From The Sky - Part II

From the Sky - Part II

By James M. O'Meara, © 2008

(Did you miss From the Sky, Part I? Just click here!)

Contorni - Finocchio


I know I said I didn't want to mention my mother, but I guess I do need to fill in a few blanks. Don't worry, it won't take long; there's not much to say.

My mother's name was Darla. Dad met her at a funeral. The deceased was her husband, a childhood friend of my father's who drank half a bottle of whiskey and wrapped his car around a telephone pole. Darla wasn't in the car. I suppose that's a mixed blessing for my father, seeing as he adores me. He says I'm the only good thing that came out of his marriage.

My aunts say we have to take the bad with the good. Well, the bad and my Dad got to talking at the funeral brunch and she slipped her number into his suit jacket. That would have been a big red flag to most folks, but my father is one of those crazy fool men whose brain seizes up in the presence of a beautiful woman. It's an inherited flaw with the males on my side of the family.

Dad fell madly in love with his Darla. Two weeks after they met, she moved in with him. Aunt Sal says Darla barely tolerated him, but needed a place to stay and someone to pay her bills. She thinks my mother enchanted my father somehow. My Aunt Rae goes a step further. She calls Darla a sorceress, an Irish Strega. "She cast a spell, I'm certain," Aunt Rae told me often over the years.

Aunt Zia has an Occam's Razor take on my father's failed marriage: "Your Dad was young, and men are stupid when they're young. They're brainless walking sacks of testosterone. Why do you think they used to draft eighteen year-olds? It's because they are fearless and can't foresee the consequences of bad decisions. A man's brain doesn't fully engage until he's past the quarter-century mark, and your father was several years short of the quarter-post. So there you have it, Renata: Darla was bad news. Paulie was young, stupid, and made a decision with the wrong head." Aunt Zia says that when Dad fell for Darla it was like watching a monkey play with a box of hand grenades: You step back a safe distance and wait, because sooner or later you have to scrape monkey fur off the walls. Well, I have to admit hers is the least-complicated explanation, and it does have precedent. As I've said, the men on my father's side have a history of behaving stupidly in the presence of beauty.

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