Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
Subscribe and Save up to 45%
Sometimes he seems strange to me. I notice that his hair is thinning in front, that it poufs up a little, which makes him look like an aging cowboy. I notice that his jeans are neatly pressed to the point of stiffness, that he looks Southern, that he is Southern, that he comes from different stock than I do, that he is wiry, ropy, skinny like a farmhand, like a person who has worked with his body all his life, whereas my people soften into middle age in armchairs, under reading lamps. I notice his hands when he is working the sander, gracefully curving figure eights as he cleans away layers of old paint, sending a fine spray of dust into the air. He has a light touch. He’s careful not to splinter the wood or wear away too much. His eyebrows and the ridges and hollows of his face are coated with white, as if he’s been dipped in flour. He looks like Abraham Lincoln. He looks like America. My people don’t know from America. His hands are leathery, long fingered, elegant, with two tiny patches of what could someday become skin cancer. Blond hair around the knuckles. I watch him like a cat, this stranger in the backyard who shares my house and climbs into my bed each night, and I think, Who is he?