In the south of New Jersey.
We sit in the middle seat of this large car. We are driving to dinner. Having just gotten the tour of my partner’s childhood town. Her elementary school and junior and high schools. her house. The small downtown. She sits in the front passenger seat talking with her mom about the town as her mom drives.
Joking with my son I say, check this out. I hold my left hand in front of me, palm facing my chest. I fold my pointer finger at the knuckle. With my right hand I bend my thumb at the knuckle and fit it above my left pointer finger, knuckle to knuckle. My right pointer and index finger folded to cover the gap between left pointer and right thumb. This action is completed in half a second. A singular fluid motion.
I pretend to strain. Showing it on my face and struggling, shaking my hands in fake effort. Grunting a little. Then for a flash of a second I slide my thumb away from finger and return it.
His eyes are wide. His mouth is open. His whole face alive with wonder.
How did you do that? He asks. His total belief in my corny old man trick. I am filled with joy. My heart is light and I am laughing.
Do it again! He says. I repeat the trick. Mom, look. Watch what dad does. I show them both and then spend the rest of the evening showing him how to do the trick and repeating it over and over.
– written April 13, 2018.