He began to talk, fast, as if he sensed, rightly, that his was a limited engagement; one that she might choose to end at any time. He told her he wanted her to go to Elena’s wedding with him. It would mean so much. That if she agreed to this one thing he wouldn’t bother her anymore. He’d stop asking her to give him another chance. He said he knows he doesn’t deserve it, but would she please go to Elena’s wedding with him?
By Jacob Appel
A first pulse of memory: My father, broad-shouldered and dashing, sliding his arms into a long white coat that smells of bleach. It is springtime in St. Arnac, a balmy Sunday afternoon snowing crab-apple petals. We’ve parked in the physicians-only lot atop the roof of the hospital’s garage, the same hospital where, the previous Thanksgiving, my pregnant mother died of a ruptured uterus.
The Hotel was charming and, judging from what she had seen of the city, completely out of place. The overbuilt white gingerbread house with the wrap-around veranda was perched above the city. The rooms and dinning veranda had a spectacular view of the bay and airport. The rooms were cool and always shaded, hidden behind the overgrown bougainvillea. The floors were sloped, the ceiling fans turned overhead and clicked away like soft background music.