My Rite Of Passage Essays

My Rite Of Passage Essays-39
The sentence served the double purpose, outlining our itinerary while also letting us know that some people named Eddie and Emily existed. Apparently we’d visited them briefly when I was four. So, on the car ride over, Mom turned to us every few minutes and offered facts without context, trying to build some hype around these people.“They lived in Okinawa for years.” “Eddie was a pilot.” It was like cramming before visiting some bizarre country: their main exports, I assumed, were hard candy, corduroy, and judgment.“Eddie likes fishing,” my mother said about the World War II bomber pilot staring at me.

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So it would never rouse in me even the same species of emotion, the same gasped-at surprise of an aunt being whisked away in her early 60s by leukemia.

The old man’s death, I’d subconsciously told myself, would be something closer to locking up a bar after a good night—a chore done in silence, but in the strange wake of the fun that preceded it.

The back space would flip up to form two more backward-facing seats, as if the designers at Chevrolet were both encouraging drivers to conceive more children and providing an actual location to do so.

In this way-back area, miles from the reach of Dad’s palm, a Wild West, subculture would develop.

Eddie clubbed one on the head, said, “He won’t be right after that” in the mock voice of a doctor breaking bad news to a family, and tossed it in the cooler.

We had a great time that day, and because he was not a grandfather I was required to visit, or a friend I’d call to play street hockey with, I wouldn’t see him again for three years.Eddie had flown more than 50 high-risk bombing missions over Europe and northern Africa, could play Chopin sonatas on the piano, and referred to staying in bed past 5 A. As he drove, Eddie would periodically glance down at this new device called a GPS, into which he claimed to have fed coordinates.The patches of fog would clear to reveal behind them denser patches of fog.This happened several times until, finally, we came to a place that looked like all the other water we had crossed.Except now, in the distance, sat a single boat, the only object visible anywhere.Everyone looked at everyone else pleasantly, blinking and occasionally saying words.My mother tried to kindle the conversation, poking at decades-old embers.Conceptually, I’d known that fluke and flounder were silly, sideways fish, perfect for supporting roles in underwater Disney movies.Up close, they looked like beastly hallucinations, angry pancakes come to life, unhappy they’d been forced to sleep on their side for the duration of their existence. “We’re going to visit your Great-Uncle Eddie and Aunt Emily in Falmouth,” my mother said one summer during a camping trip on Cape Cod, said it like we were just stopping at a gas station. Eddie was an old man the entire time I knew him, a relative I didn’t get to know until I was 12.

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