My Father’s Apartment, by Michael Kimball

Sometimes in the summer, my father would make us all get in the family car and then he would drive us around on these country roads. All I really remember from those drives is how each of us looked out our own open window—that and how loud the wind could be and how the wind would begin to sting my face after a few miles. Eventually, my father drove the whole family apart, but him being dead brought all of us back together again.

In the Houston airport, I bought a Mars bar because I was hungry and because my father liked Mars bars. He used to keep them in the pockets of his sport coats.
I ate the Mars bar, but I couldn’t really taste it. It should have been sweet, but it tasted stale. I ate the whole thing anyway. I didn’t think to look at the wrapper of the Mars bar until I had finished eating it. The expiration date on the bottom of the wrapper had passed.

In the Minneapolis airport, I was the first one at the gate for the flight to Lansing. I called home, but my wife didn’t answer. I left a message for her. I sat there in one of those hard airport chairs a bunch of empty airport chairs surrounding me. What I am trying to say is, right then, I felt really alone.

Read more in this week‘s Little Star Weekly

We were overwhelmed by Michael Kimball’s valedictory Us, published in 2011. Recently it was followed up by the equally unsparing Big Ray, out this summer in paperback, from which these passages are drawn. Have a look in Little Star Weekly. (See our complete table of contents here.)

Michael Kimball is the author of The Way the Family Got Away, Dear Everybody, and Us. He is also responsible for the project Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard) and a couple of
documentary films. “My Father’s Apartment” appears in his most recent novel Big Ray, recently out in paperback. He lives in Baltimore.

FC9781620400678 author

author photo by Rachel Bradley

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